Ex-Vikings CB Formally Waived by Bills

Nov 7, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Buffalo Bills helmet before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports.

Former Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler has encountered a tumultuous offseason.

Foremost, Minnesota severed ties with five veteran CBs in the last five months: Patrick Peterson (Steelers), Duke Shelley (Raiders), Chandon Sullivan (Steelers), Kris Boyd (Cardinals) — and Dantzler.

Ex-Vikings CB Formally Waived by Bills

Dantzler, 24, quickly latched onto the Washington Commanders off waivers but was dropped at the end of May. Then, he caught on — briefly — with the Buffalo Bills and was later waived.

Formally Waived
Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) looks back at Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler (27) on a 40-yard touchdown run in the first quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports.

Here’s the formal timeline for Dantlzer’s offseason:

  • March 10: Waived by Vikings
  • March 13: Claimed by Commanders
  • May 30: Waived by Commanders
  • June 7: Signed by Bills
  • July 28: Waived by Bills with injury designation
  • July 29: Unclaimed leaguewide, reverted to Bills IR
  • July 30: Waived by Bills with injury settlement
Dec 26, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson (12) and Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler (27) battle for a pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford (not pictured) in the end zone during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. The pass was incomplete. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The extent of Dantzler’s current injury is unknown, so his future is mysterious. He could sign elsewhere in the near future or sit out the 2023 season, which would signal his career is at a teetering point. Dantzler showed various glimmers of productivity since entering the NFL as a 3rd-Round draft pick in 2020 but finished three straight seasons with a whimper due to injury or otherwise. He produced a praiseworthy 70.9 Pro Football Focus grade as a rookie, followed by an even better 73.8 score in 2021. Yet, after getting injured midseason in 2022, Dantzler never seemed to recover and lost his starting job.

And that strange non-participation on the field was a theme in back-to-back seasons.

Oct 3, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler (27) breaks up a pass to Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports.

Last year, Dantzler scored a game-sealing fumble recovery — which was really just Dantzler robbing a football away from former teammate Ihmir Smith-Marsette — over the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. It turned out to be his biggest highlight of the season and probably his career. 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.’ 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.

Dantzler was a Vikings starter as recently as last year before Shelley’s emergence. Fans were high on his upside in 2020, 2021, and 2022. But barring a late-summer renaissance from the Mississippi State alumnus, no such forecast will exist in 2023.

Week 16 Vikings Injury Report
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.

The Vikings now employ Byron Murphy, Andrew Booth, Akayleb Evans, Joejuan Williams, and Mekhi Blackmon, among others, at cornerback, so a reunion with the Vikings is highly unlikely. Perhaps he’ll eventually latch onto the Arizona Cardinals or Seattle Seahawks, teams employing defensive coaches who previously worked with Dantzler.

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.