We’re just two weeks away from the league mandated cut day for all teams. That time teams make the dreaded decisions of cutting players to stay under the 75 player limit.
For the Green Bay Packers, this year’s cut could prove to be difficult. One player who could be on the wire could be Chris Banjo.
Banjo originally joined the franchise in 2013 after being released by the Jacksonville Jaguars before training camp. He was an undrafted free agent without a team and the hopes looked bleak. That’s when the Packers called.
On July 29th, Banjo signed a contract with the Packers and took the field for training camp four days later than everyone else. A major uphill battle to make the roster ensued for Banjo. But Banjo persevered and overcame the odds, making the final roster, and playing in all 16 regular season games.
Coming into his second season with the Packers, Banjo faced more adversity as the team had added HaHa Clinton-Dix through the draft while regaining Sean Richardson from injury. The new depth of the safeties core pushed Banjo back and out of the roster when he was cut on August 30th, 2014.
Banjo wasn’t gone from the Packers long though, signing to the practice squad as the veteran exemption player after turning down multiple offers with other teams. After spending over three months on the practice squad Banjo rejoined the roster and played in the final three games of the regular season. He also played in the Packers two playoff games against the Dallas Cowboys and the Seattle Seahawks.
This offseason, Green Bay signed Banjo on an exclusive rights tender of the league minimum salary. For Banjo, a third year on a pro team was about to begin, but with the same depth as the previous year.
The Packers safeties core is deep, if not the deepest in the league. It would take an injury to pry open a spot for Banjo to play on defense, but for special teams, it’s a whole other discussion.
In the offseason this year, Green Bay negated to sign special teams ace and veteran Jarrett Bush. Which left his spot as a gunner up for grabs. Banjo would join a special teams that looks to take it to the next level like the offense and defense.
But Banjo could be on his way out of Green Bay. With the depth at safety and other positions calling for more spots due to the exceptional talent the Packers have procured over the offseason, Banjo could find himself without a job in just two weeks time.
Green Bay has spent the time this offseason looking into keeping six receivers on the team. Jared Abbrederis delayed that with a concussion. But with Jeff Janis and Myles White both having an exceptional preseason so far, the Packers could still be on track to keep six receivers.
Other positions that could see more demand for spots could be inside linebacker, outside linebacker, and cornerback.
LaDarius Gunter has been the Jayrone Elliott of this preseason and has been one of the more impressive defensive backs on the practice field. In a position that was lacking size coming into this season, Gunter definitely fills that void standing at 6-foot-2 and over 200-pounds. It’s appearing that every day we get closer to the season is another day closer to knowing for sure that Gunter has made the roster. From what he’s demonstrated so far, he should have a roster spot.
Depending upon whether or not Ted Thompson is ready to let Demetri Goodson go, we could possibly see Thompson let another good defender like Banjo go to keep a roster spot open for Goodson. The Packers could have six cornerbacks coming into this year if they decide to keep Goodson and Gunter.
If Banjo ends up leaving Green Bay, don’t worry about him being out of a job for long. There are a lot of teams hungry for a guy with talent such as Banjo’s. He’ll find a gig. If he doesn’t, Minnesota always has it’s door open for former Packer players.——————