Earlier on Friday, the Packers lone unsigned restricted free agent, Chris Banjo, signed his minimum tender offer for $585,000. An inevitability, essentially all this means is that Banjo will show up on time for the strength-and-conditioning team workouts that start on Monday. For liability reasons, no player can even workout at the team facility unless they are under contract. That explains the timing of this signing.
This means that less than a week after I wrote that the Packers are basically rebuilding on special teams, they have resigned three key special teams performers in Sean Richardson, John Kuhn, and Chris Banjo. There will still be a new coach, new input from the head coach, and a lot of new faces on special teams, but not everything will be new.
This also means that the safety position in one year went from the weakest position on the team to one of the strongest and least in need of help in this year’s draft. With Morgan Burnett and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix as established starters, the Packers also will have the luxury of returning Richardson and Banjo as reserves. Neither player was drafted or has established himself yet as a quality safety, but both players know the defense and the Packers know them.
The return of both Richardson and Banjo also allows Micah Hyde to focus more on being a cornerback, which is now where the Packers need help.
The $585,000 contract Ayokunmi Christopher Oluwaseun Banjo – his real name- signed may be fine money to the NFL’s elite, but that is a pretty good paycheck for a guy that played at SMU, went undrafted, was picked up and cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars, and even cut last season by the Packers. Banjo fought his way from the practice squad back onto the active roster by Week 15 and now he has a new contract.
Talking about the clock striking midnight on a guy, this guy’s clock has struck 3 AM and his party hasn’t stopped. Must be a West Coast party.