Cardinals sign former Saints, Packers safety Chris Banjo
The Arizona Cardinals have signed former New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers safety Chris Banjo after he worked out for them on Tuesday, the team announced in a press release on Wednesday.
Banjo, who primarily played special teams with the Saints, recorded 10 tackles but also had two interceptions and three passes defensed last season. He put that production together in 52 defensive snaps and 277 special teams snaps.
“We’re going to evaluate how it goes this week during practice,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said of Banjo’s role. “We like the production he’s had on special teams and think he can help us there, certainly.”
The 29-year-old safety has 65 career tackles, two forced fumbles, three interceptions and seven passes defensed since entering the NFL with the Packers in 2013. He remained in Green Bay through part of 2016 and later that year joined the Saints.
With Arizona, Banjo will provide backend depth at safety, where the team has been lacking experience.
Behind starters D.J. Swearinger and Budda Baker are rookies Deionte Thompson and Jalen Thompson, plus third-year pro Charles Washington.
As the Cardinals have struggled finding answers to stopping tight ends in the passing game over the first three weeks of the season, they have used a limited package of three safeties.
Deionte Thompson, a fifth-round pick out of Alabama, has earned the few reps as that third safety. Jalen Thompson, who was a supplemental draft pick, was inactive in Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers.