One Big Free Agency Mystery Remains from the 2022 Vikings Roster
This offseason, after going 13-4 during the 2022 season, the Minnesota Vikings made a number of moves to get rid of their aging veteran players.
One of these moves was not like the others, though. CB Cam Dantzler was surprisingly cut by the Vikings despite checking zero of the boxes from other veteran cuts. He’s still very young, set to turn 25 years old in September. He’s started 26 games over his first three NFL seasons. He wasn’t owed an exorbitant amount of money in 2023, carrying a cap hit of right around $3 million.
The Remaining Vikings Free Agency Mystery
Regardless, the Vikings decided to part ways with Dantzler, waiving him on March 10th. He was promptly claimed by the Washington Commanders, joining a rebuilding franchise as they attempted to move forward with 2022 fifth-round pick Sam Howell.
Dantzler’s tenure in Washington would be short-lived, though. Less than two months after Washington claimed the young corner, he was released by the team on May 30th. The interesting part of this decision comes in the fact that the Commanders CB room wasn’t exactly set in stone.
They drafted Emmanuel Forbes in the first round round of the 2023 Draft, and Kendall Fuller is a strong veteran presence, but behind these players sit Benjamin St. Juste, Danny Johnson, Jartavius Martin, Rachad Wildgoose, Christian Holmes, and Tariq Castro-Fields. It certainly seems like there would be room for another player with starting experience in this room.
Whether or not the release was deserved, it happened. Dantzler hit free agency for the second time of the spring, and he remained there until July when the Buffalo Bills reached an agreement with him. After spending a few weeks with a rebuilding franchise, he suddenly had an opportunity to prove himself worthy of a chance on a bonafide Super Bowl contender.
Unfortunately, that dream would be short-lived. Just a few days after joining the Bills, Dantzler was again released by Buffalo. This time, it came with an injury designation, causing wonders of if his injury suffered during 2022 continued to hamper him.
After starting the first eight games for the Vikings in 2022, Dantzler went onto injured reserve with a high ankle sprain. He would come back to make one more start during the regular season with Minnesota in their Week 16 game against Detroit, but he played 49% of the snaps in that game and never started again.
And so, here Dantzler sits in free agency with preseason football in full-swing. Once a promising third-round pick by the Vikings, the young CB has been unable to latch onto a team for the 2023 season.
Perhaps Dantzler’s continued free agency status is simply due to the fact that he has been hurt so often in the past 12 months. It would make sense for him to need to heal up before a team is willing to fully commit to him again. Regardless, this remains the one big free agency mystery from the Vikings 2022 roster.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.