The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are waiving cornerback Johnthan Banks, according to Ian Rapoport and every other report out there, presumably to make room for running back Mike James, who was reported to have reached an agreement with the Bucs earlier today. James will presumably replace Jacquizz Rodgers, who suffered an ankle injury against the Oakland Raiders.
Banks was a second-round pick for the Bucs in 2013, the year they traded away their first-round pick for Darrelle Revis, who they cut just one season later. The cornerback had a pretty decent start to his career, starting 30 games in his first two seasons at an up-and-down level, with extended periods of promising play.
He barely played in his third season, though, as Lovie Smith kept shuffling the secondary to disastrous results. New defensive coordinator Mike Smith has no use for Banks whatsoever: he has yet to play a single snap on defense this season, despite the fact that nickel cornerback Alterraun Verner was benched after a couple of games. Instead, Jude Adjei-Barimah, who went undrafted in 2015, has taken that spot.
Banks’ contract is up next offseason, so the Bucs were going to let him walk anyway. They’re losing nine games of Banks not playing, which isn’t exactly a huge problem.
As has been the case all too frequently for Tampa Bay, though, a draft class looks much worse a few years on. It doesn’t help that Banks was drafted by one defensive coach, and then had to work his way into two different coaches who don’t prefer his style of play, of course, but it just goes to show that you can’t really judge draft classes until a few years on.