Vikings’ Cam Dantzler Sends Cryptic Tweet After Mike Zimmer Issues Ultimatum

Cameron Dantzler

Courtesy of Vikings Cameron Dantzler was deemed a trade target for the Kansas City Chiefs, per Bleacher Report.

The Minnesota Vikings’ top cornerback from the 2020 season went missing last Sunday in the team’s season opener.

Second-year corner Cam Dantzler was a healthy scratch against the Cincinnati Bengals. His fall from grace coincided with the additions of veteran talent in starters Patrick Peterson, Mackensie Alexander and Bashaud Breeland.

Breeland particularly struggled in the overtime loss to the Bengals. However, he still has a grasp of the starting outside corner role that was once considered Dantzler’s to lose.

It’s unclear when Dantzler will see a defensive rep this season. Coach Mike Zimmer gave an ultimatum that there’s only one way for Dantzler to return on the defensive side of the ball — to excel on special teams first.

“First thing, he’s gotta play special teams,” Zimmer said in a September 15 press conference. “If you’re a backup player, you’ve gotta play special teams.”

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Dantzler’s Cryptic Response

Zimmer’s words didn’t fall deaf on Dantzler.

The 2020 third-round pick out of Mississippi State sent a couple of cryptic tweets saying “Wow” and “Smh,” an acronym for “shaking my head.”

Both tweets have since been deleted as fans responded with a flurry of comments that fed into Dantzler’s frustration.

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Dantzler Likely With Vikings for Long-Haul

Dantzler’s fall from grace has been drastic. He was rated the NFL’s top-graded corner by Pro Football Focus across seven weeks last season, producing a 31.1 quarterback rating when targeted.

Deemed a breakout candidate by Pro Football Focus this season, Dantzler’s future with the team has come into question following trade rumors involving the San Francisco 49ers.

However unhappy Dantzler may be with his current status on the team, the Vikings are still high on the 23-year-old.

Dantzler, currently behind Peterson, Breeland and third-year corner Kris Boyd at outside corner, has been asked to pay his dues on special teams after struggling to produce positive results in the preseason.

“The one thing about this business is it’s a production business,” co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson said on KFAN, per Inside the Vikings. “You have to go out there and play well to be on the field. All the guys on the team, at every position, are competing to go play. And if you’re not playing well enough and other guys are playing better than you, you’ve gotta play the guys that are playing the best at this moment. The good thing is he can fix it. He can fix it by the way he goes out in practice and the way he plays. Right now, the guys that are in front of him are just playing better than him.”

But with Peterson, Breeland and Alexander all on one-year deals, the future of the franchise at cornerback is unknown. Dantzler has two more years on his rookie contract, making him indispensable at the moment.

“It’s just all of the skills that go along with playing corner and being competitive,” Patterson added. “So that’s what it comes down to, you gotta go out there and you gotta compete in practice. If you can’t compete in practice and you’re not competitive in practice, then you’re not going to be able to go out and play in the games. Like I said, the good part is he can fix it. He’s talented enough, it’s just a matter of him going out there and fixing it.”

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Bill Doerr
Bill Doerr
9 months ago

Arizona should try to trade for CB Cam Dantzler, offer up the mid round pick they originally used to draft him.
AZ has an excellent young top 10 caliber secondary that they’ve rebuilt with 2019 2nd rd pick Byron Murphy having developed into an excellent #1 caliber CB playing at an extremely high level which is why Peterson was let go. Murphy is just entering his prime n just barely scratching the surface of his full potential.
#2CB Robert Alford is just that an excellent very smart veteran #2 cornerback who’s finally healthy and on the field. Talent and ability has never been a question for Alford as he is a stud of a #2 corner on the field.
Then this year Keim hit a grand slam with the drafting or pick of 6ft/190pd CB Marco Wilson pick who was slated to go much higher in late RD1, top of RD2 but fell due to throwing the shoe incident. At 6ft with an elite athletic profile posting a 4.31 40, 43.5 vertical leap and 6.79 3 cone, 11ft4in broad jump and 26 reps of 225pds all testing out as elite with Wilson being the 3rd most athletic corner EVER tested posting a relative athletic score of 9.99 which was the 3rd highest relative ever school EVER out of 1,784 NFL Corners tested from 1987-2021.
Wilson has been a stud since the day AZ drafted him earning his starting role. There will be some growing pains w/ Wilson but with his athletic traits and ability he can be a shutdown corner for A LONG time to come in this league. Wilson has the athletic ability, elite speed and hips as well as coverage ability of a young 21yr old Patrick Peterson when he was drafted.
I wouldn’t overlook rookie 6”2 1/2 190pd CB Tay Gowan who is an excellent VERY STICKY cover man ranking #69 on PFF’s top 100 player list in the 2021 draft w/ a late 2nd early 3rd round grade posting a very high 80.1 grade in coverage allowing just 20 receptions for 274YDs on 55 targets. In single coverage Gowan allowed a passer rating of just 26.6 when targeted which was THE BEST LOWEST PASSER RATING IN THE NATION when targeted. Giants messed up and took the wrong UCF corner.
PFF ranked Tay Gowan 8th on its top 10 CB list and his fellow teammate 6ft Aaron Robinson ranked 6th on the list and 56th overall on PFFs top 100 big board . Robinson doesn’t have the natural coverage instincts Gowan has, has ordinary ball skills compared to excellent ball skills for Gowan whos a natural making plays on the ball. Robinson is set to be a featured slot CB in the NFL but Gowan has the talent to be a top notch outside corner at best as a #1CB, at worst as good #2CB.
Arizona landed absolute stud NFL boundary CBS in Marco Wilson and Tay Gowan and both will be excellent starters for a long time to come. Gowan probably won’t get on the field this year unless something happens to Alford, but in all likelihood Gowan takes over as the teams CB2 next year, Byron Murphy the CB1 And Marco Wilson inside in the slot.

And that’s not all AZ has on the backend , AZ also has THEE BEST SS in the NFL who’s elite in three aspects of his game in SS Budda Baker allowing him to be an absolute MONSTER on the field. FS Jalen Thompson is an excellent well above average FS who’s nearing elite play in coverage he just gets over shadowed by all the other talent on this team. Thompson missed last season due to an ankle, now in his 3rd season and healthy we’re seeing it all come together n start clicking for Thompson in real time.
On top of what AZ has in pass coverage at CB, SCB and SS/FS teams also now have to worry about about the elite size, elite speed/length and elite athleticism Arizona brings to the ILB position in 6”4/245pd Isaiah Simmons w/ elite 4.39 40 speed, 43.5in vertical jump,35in long arms who’s seeing the entire game now like an ILB and is developing starting to play at an elite level overall after ranking 6th in coverage among ILBs as a rookie from WK6 on last year. And They move Simmons all over as he can play multiple positions, including the ability to rush the passer both inside and at OLB.
1st round pick 6”5/255pd ILB Zaven Collins is incredibly fast with elite athleticism for his size. Collins is developing very quickly with the ability to be dominate in all 3 phases of his game truly excelling in all 3. Collins is going to be a monster for a long time to come. And then there is number 3 ILB Jordan Hicks who stays in next to Collins as the MIKE LB when they move Simmons all over the field which really makes this front so much more difficult to deal with. Hicks came to camp in his best shape yet and u can tell as he’s a lot faster moving all around. Tanner Vallejo is also a very good stout 3rd ILB himself, the more comfortable Zaven Collins gets the more we will likely see of Tanner Vallejo.

This should be an elite NFL coverage unit for a long time to come and overall should have one of the best defenses for a very long time.

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