The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had no choice but to make a move in order to create room for another running back to cover their injury problems in the backfield. As a result, the team has officially elected to part ways with former second-round pick in cornerback Johnthan Banks.
According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, the Buccaneers have waived Banks. With his roster spot, Tampa Bay signed running back Mike James, who could see significant action since Doug Martin, Charles Sims and Jacquizz Rodgers are all injured at the moment.
Banks started 37 of 48 games when former Buccaneers’ head coaches Greg Schiano and Lovie Smith were at the helm, but the former second-rounder lost his starting job once Mike Smith became the team’s defensive coordinator under newly crowned head coach Dirk Koetter. Tampa Bay mostly deployed the up-and-comer on special teams this season, and in each of the past two weeks, he was actually a healthy scratch.
Coming out of college, he was a hot commodity. He won the 2012 Thorpe Award, which is given to the country’s best defensive back in college football. Banks notably played opposite Detroit Lions’ cornerback Darius Slay at Mississippi State. At 6-2 and 185 pounds, Banks has the height and frame to be a NFL cornerback, but he has never lived up to the hype that made him the No. 43 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
There are quite a few teams that could use some secondary help, however, so don’t expect Banks to be without a job for long. Leslie Frazier, Banks’ defensive coordinator last season, is now the secondary coach with the Baltimore Ravens, so perhaps the AFC North franchise will take a flier on him.