4 Vikings Players from 2022 Remain FAs after Dalvin Cook to NYJ

Vikings Starter Hits the Shelf Indefinitely
Jun 8, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings corner back Cameron Dantzler. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Dalvin Cook ended the summer-long concealment about his 2023 free-agency plan this week, signing with New York Jets for one year, a deal expandable to $8.6 million with incentives.

4 Vikings Players from 2022 Remain FAs after Dalvin Cook to NYJ

He joins Breece Hall and Micheal Carter II in the Jets RB room, quite the unit supporting new quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Vikings foremost rival for 15 years.

And with Cook off the board to the AFC, just four Vikings players from the 2022 roster are searching for teams.

1. Cameron Dantzler (CB)

from 2022 Remain
Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler Sr. (3) reacts late during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Dantzler has encountered a wild offseason — and not necessarily in a good way.

He was surprisingly waived by the Vikings on March 10, later claimed by the Washington Commanders on March 13. A change of NFC scenery, indeed.

Fast forward to May 30th, and the Commanders also waived Dantzler, his second offseason waiver. The Buffalo Bills swooped in a week later and inked the young defender to a one-year agreement. Three weeks later, he was released with an injury designation.

He may be hobbled at the moment but is free to sign anywhere in the NFL. As recently as November of last year, Dantzler was a sure-thing starter for the Vikings. That escalated quickly.

2. Thomas Hennigan (WR)

Dec 4, 2021; Lafayette, LA, USA; Appalachian State Mountaineers wide receiver Thomas Hennigan (5) is tackled by Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns cornerback Eric Garror (19) during the fourth quarter of the Sun Belt Conference championship game. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports.

This 2022 Vikings practice squader was released this offseason and is probably the least likely to latch on elsewhere.

The Appalachian State alumnus impressed in college, tallying 242 receptions for 3,124 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns in five years. Hennigan was also an experienced special teams contributor, so if he were going to join a team’s roster at any time, that would be the reason. Hennigan also set an FBS record of 65 games started as a Mountaineer.

3. Bisi Johnson (WR)

Nov 29, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Bisi Johnson (81) catches a pass during the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Once upon a team, Bisi Johnson was the Vikings WR3. The year was 2019, and in those days, the Vikings offense generally ‘didn’t care’ much about WR3 production.

Then, however, Johnson encountered back-to-back season-ending injuries in 2021 and 2022 and was not a priority by the Vikings front office for a fifth season.

He worked out for the New England Patriots and Houston Texans this offseason, but no deals materialized.

4. Kenny Willekes (EDGE)

Nov 7, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Kenny Willekes (79) during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.

Another Viking affected by a litany of injuries, Willekes was a product of the Stefon Diggs trade, at least through draft picks, with the Buffalo Bills in 2020.

Willekes has played six career games, all in 2021, and tabulated 2.5 sacks in 202 defensive plays. He turned 26 in July, and it’s a little weird that he’s not on some team’s 90-man roster.

If you never hear anything from Willekes again, it will have been the injury bug as the rationale.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.