Banjo cut, 'caught up in a numbers game' at safety
Chris Banjo still has the game ball from Baltimore.
It was more than a reward for a good day's work on special teams in the Green Bay Packers 19-17 win against the Ravens last season. For Banjo, it was verification. Yes, the former undrafted safety from Southern Methodist could be a difference in the NFL.
John Biggins, Banjo's agent, thought about that game Saturday.
Banjo was one of the more significant roster moves the Packers made before the 3 p.m. deadline, narrowing their roster to the league-mandated 53 players. A year after being one of three undrafted rookies to make Green Bay's roster in 2013, Banjo was among the biggest surprise cuts.
"They all said he had a great camp and a great preseason," Biggins said, referencing Packers general manager Ted Thompson. "They said that he's probably their best special teams player, but he got caught up in a numbers game at safety. So that's the bottom line."
The Packers are expected to keep four safeties: Morgan Burnett, Micah Hyde, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Sean Richardson. Banjo would have been the fifth, but Green Bay instead decided to keep a player at another position.
When asked about the Packers possibly keeping five safeties earlier this week, Banjo said he was unsure how it would work out.
"Possibly. I really couldn't tell you," he said. "I'm not sure what our front office thinks in terms of what position to keep or what exactly to do. I just know they emphasize we're keeping our best 53, and I just pray to God that I was good enough this camp to be a part of that."
Banjo's pro football journey is far from over.
Biggins expects another team to claim him on waivers. If he clears waivers, the Packers indicated they'd love for Banjo to be available for their practice squad.
"He's physical, he's fast. He's very determined," Biggins said. "So although we're very disappointed, he will bounce back, and he'll continue to make big plays in the NFL. He's shown that he can play. He's shown the entire league that he can play.
"He'd done enough to make that squad. So, he has his head held high, even though he's disappointed because he wanted to be in Green Bay. But this is the business side of it, so we've just got to keep grinding."
-firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood