Cameron Dantzler is now headed to a third city this year. The Bills will give the former Vikings third-round pick a chance, doing so not long after the Commanders moved his rookie contract off their payroll.
The Bills are signing the fourth-year cornerback to a one-year deal, according to the team. Washington had claimed Dantzler’s rookie deal in March, but the Mississippi State product will now attempt to play his fourth NFL season in Buffalo.
While the Bills have been busy with defensive transactions over the past few days, extending Ed Oliver and signing Leonard Floyd, the three-time reigning AFC East champions have not done too much at corner this offseason. The team selected Alex Austin in Round 7 but is largely running it back at the position. Dantzler figures to compete for a backup job. In a corresponding move, Buffalo waived cornerback Kyler McMichael.
The Vikings used Dantzler as a regular starter last season, doing so despite drafting Andrew Booth in the 2022 second round. Dantzler, 24, played ahead of Booth and worked as the team’s primary boundary corner opposite Patrick Peterson. The Vikings have moved on from both veterans, with Peterson now with the Steelers. After adding Brian Flores as defensive coordinator, Minnesota has retooled on that side of the ball this offseason. Dantzler has 26 starts on his resume, bringing extensive experience to a Bills team that has seen injuries make a major impact on its depth at this position in recent years.
Tre’Davious White‘s long-awaited return from an ACL tear did not come until Thanksgiving, with the team’s No. 1 corner being out a full calendar year. Emerging seventh-round pick Christian Benford also missed eight games as a rookie. Dantzler stands to join Benford as a backup for a team eager to play 2022 first-rounder Kaiir Elam alongside White.
Pro Football Focus graded Dantzler as a mid-tier corner last season, slotting him 65th at the position. The advanced metrics site viewed Dantzler’s work in 2020 and ’21 as superior, grading the 6-foot-2 cover man in the top 25 each year. The Bills will take a flier, with the former SEC defender aiming to avoid being cut by a third team in 2023. Buffalo also rosters fourth-year corner Dane Jackson (22 career starts) and Siran Neal, with Taron Johnson still in place in the slot.