In what has to be considered a surprising move in the middle of the season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have waived former second-round pick Johnthan Banks.
Banks, 27, joined Darius Slay as two highly-regarded Mississippi State products to enter the 2013 NFL Draft. After being selected in the second round, Banks started 30 games in his first two seasons with the Buccaneers.
Unfortunately, he fell out of favor big time as other members of the Bucs’ secondary stepped up and Lovie Smith was replaced by Dirk Koetter as the team’s head coach.
Banks has appeared in five games this season, primarily on special teams. It’s in this that we shouldn’t be surprised the Buccaneers moved on from him.
It is, however, surprising that the team couldn’t get another squad to give up a late-round pick for a player that still represents considerable upside.
It had been reported earlier in October that Tampa was looking to dangle Banks as bait to bring on a veteran receiver following the season-ending injury to Vincent Jackson. Apparently, none of the other 31 teams bit.
Banks finishes his Buccaneers career having recorded seven interceptions and a touchdown in 50 games (37 starts). He’s sure to draw interest on the waiver wire.