The Cuts Continue: Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Releases Young Corner

NFL: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Though not completely out of left field, this one is still fairly surprising: the Vikings have decided to move on from Cameron Dantzler. Tom Pelissero offers the update.

Take a look:

The team has confirmed the news.

As a rookie, Dantzler showed a lot of promise. He ended up making the 2020 All-Rookie Team even though he was in and out of the lineup. Dantzler played in 11 games, starting 10, finishing the year with 46 tackles and 2 INTs.

Week 16 Vikings Inactives
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 young corner has always been a strong tackler but he has struggled to stay on the field. He has also made some really poor errors in coverage, such as when he backed off the endzone line to allow Amon-Ra St. Brown score a game-winning TD as time expired.

More recently, Dantzler struggled in Kevin O’Connell’s first year in Minnesota. He allowed 77.4% of passes into his coverage to be completed, the worst mark of his career. Collectively, QBs had a 111.1 passer rating when targeting him.

The Vikings’ corner depth chart thus drops down to just Akayleb Evans, Andrew Booth Jr., Tay Gowan, and Kalon Barnes. In other words, there is a lot of work that needs to be done. The PurplePTSD Top 32 Free Agents for the Vikings features plenty of corners, and they’re more important than ever.

A Vikings Preview for Week 5 vs. Bears
Jan 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler (27) tackles Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Moving on from Dantzler means Kwesi Adofo-Mensah gets a bit more cap space. A cut saves $2.743 million while leaving behind just $223,750 in dead money.

Another factor to consider is that Duke Shelley and Patrick Peterson can both be retained. The decision to move on from Dantzler makes if much likelier we see at least one of them brought back. Going into a year with next to no continuity at corner seems like a misguided approach.

Earlier in the day, we received confirmation that Adam Thielen has been cut. We’ve also recently learned that Ross Blacklock has agreed to a pay cut. Dantlzer’s release thus works alongside these other moves to expand the Vikings’ budget. Moving on from the corner leaves the Vikings somewhere around $7.4 million in the red.

Even though he has already played in 3 seasons, Cameron Dantzler is still only 24. He’ll draw interest as a long & strong corner who can be physical in run support.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and Over the Cap helped with this piece.