After seeing starting corner Jason Verrett go down with a season-ending injury in Week 1, the San Francisco 49ers got active on the free-agent market and signed veteran Dre Kirkpatrick. But according to David Lombardi of The Athletic, the 49ers only went for Kirkpatrick after failing in their pursuit of the Minnesota Vikings’ cornerback Cameron Dantzler.
Lombardi reports that the 49ers explored acquiring Dantzler and even made an official approach to the Vikings. However, Minnesota wasn’t impressed with the offer and decided to hang onto the 23-year-old star despite him being a healthy scratch in the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.
It remains to be seen whether San Francisco makes another attempt for Dantzler in the coming days or turns to other options for adding depth to their secondary. One of them could reportedly be a reunion with veteran Richard Sherman, something that even the team’s head coach Kyle Shanahan acknowledged earlier this week.
Dantzler, on the other hand, has a long way to go before returning to the Vikings lineup. Minnesota’s head coach Mike Zimmer indicated this on Wednesday during a chat with reporters.
“First thing, he’s gotta play special teams,” Zimmer said of Dantzler. “If you’re a backup player, you’ve gotta play special teams.”
The Vikings took Cameron Dantzler in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The Mississippi State ended up winning the starting job in training camp and had a stellar rookie campaign that got him a spot on PFWA All-Rookie Team. Dantzler was projected to be the face of Minnesota’s secondary in 2021 as well, but poor training camp and preseason showing made him free fall on the depth chart.