While all the discussion will be around veteran free agents starting on Monday with legal tampering and then on Wednesday when the league year opens, there are a few youngsters that could fall through the cracks. The Minnesota Vikings, for example, seem to be going through a huge transition including waiving another third-round pick and cutting multiple veterans.
Friday, the Vikings waived DB Cameron Dantzler after two up-and-down seasons. Dantzler was selected by the previous regime and struggled to live up to his draft position.
The Cleveland Browns are likely to be one of many teams looking to put a claim in on Dantzler much as they did when Minnesota waived QB Kellen Mond, another third-round pick.
Dantzler was the college teammate Browns CB Martin Emerson. Standing at 6’2”, Dantzler isn’t built as thick and strong as his former teammate but has shown strong flashes in his three seasons in the NFL. With his size, Dantzler could transition to free safety which could minimize his bulk-related issues.
A transition is not required, however, as Dantzler has shown quality play as a press man corner at times in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, Dantzler was good in coverage last year, 69.8 grade, and has graded over 70 overall the last two seasons.
For the Browns, Dantzler doesn’t answer their need for a slot corner but would provide depth on the outside, a potential free safety option and a special teams player for only the cost of his contract.
Given the expanded rosters, it is likely that a team with a higher waiver claim pulls in the former MSU star but reuniting Emerson and Dantzler could be an added bonus in Cleveland.