Recently Waived Vikings Defender Finds New Home

Oct 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler Sr. (3) tackles Arizona Cardinals safety Charles Washington (28) in the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The NFL offseason hit the free agency period, and news breaks every minute. Minnesota has been active the last few days, releasing Vikings stars Eric Kendricks and Adam Thielen. The moves were necessary as the team must get under the salary cap before the new league year begins on March 15.

The first signee of Minnesota’s offseason was a tight end, Josh Oliver, on Monday, a blocking specialist with upside in the passing game. Many more will follow. However, some former Vikings find new teams.

Recently Waived Vikings Defender Finds New Home

One Vikings move last week was waiving cornerback Cameron Dantzler. He had to enter the waivers process, and other teams could put in a claim for the rights of the waived player. The Washington Commanders did just that, and Dantzler is heading to Washington, DC.

Recently Waived Vikings Defender Finds New Home
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The cornerback played for the Vikings for three seasons after former GM Rick Spielman selected him in the third round of the 202o draft. Spielman had a wonderful draft. He picked, among others, Justin Jefferson, Ezra Cleveland, K.J. Osborn, and Dantzler.

In his rookie year, Dantzler had to fill the vacated spots of the departed Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander. The rookie started ten games for the Vikings in his first year and 26 games throughout his tenure with the club. Overall, he played in 35 games throughout the three campaigns.

As a rookie, Dantzler played well but couldn’t continue to play at that level as a sophomore. The Vikings even replaced him with Beshaud Breeland, despite his disastrous play. Only after Breeland’s release did Dantzler get his chance.

Week 16 Vikings Injury Report
Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler Sr. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

When Mike Zimmer left the organization, many expected Dantzler to make a jump after escaping the doghouse of his former coach. Last season, the cornerback once again was a starter at the beginning of the year but struggled in coverage and later with an ankle injury.

He started opposite Patrick Peterson, and the struggles were acceptable, but he certainly didn’t play great football. Dantzler sprained his ankle in Week 9 against Washington and missed some time.

After his comeback in Week 14 against the Lions, a game in which he gave up two scores, Dantzler missed time with a “personal matter,” but it is still unknown what happened. It is possible that he simply landed in the doghouse of another coaching staff. In Week 17 against the Packers, Dantzler played his last game for the Vikings as a non-starter. He was inactive in Week 18 and in the postseason.

Former Viking Can Reach
Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery (32) and Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler Sr. (3) in action during the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The cornerback had his most memorable moment as a Viking when he forced the game-clinching fumble against the Bears and former Vikings wideout Ihmir Smith-Marsette.

Washington has to pick up the contract of Dantzler, which is slightly under $3 million for one season without any guaranteed money. It is a low-risk move for the Commanders.

The Vikings only have four CBs on the roster, and neither of the four is a proven NFL player. Akayleb Evans, Andrew Booth Jr., Tay Gowan, and Kalon Barnes are the current cover players on the team. GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will make many moves at the position in the next two months.

In addition to Dantzler, the purple team may have lost cornerbacks Chandon Sullivan, Duke Shelley, and Patrick Peterson to free agency. Peterson agreed to a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers and will join former Vikings defensive head coach Mike Tomlin.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt