Brandon Banks emerged as a speedy fan favorite his rookie season, becoming a dangerous returner. But his time in Washington apparently has ended.
A league source said Banks will not receive a tender offer from the Redskins, which will make him an unrestricted free agent. Banks is considered a restricted free agent so the Redskins would have to make him a tender offer. But there has been no contact with him and the source said the Redskins will move on without him.
He’s the only restricted free agent the Redskins have not moved to keep. They re-signed four others: tight end Logan Paulsen, fullback Darrel Young, long snapper Nick Sundberg and linebacker Rob Jackson. They also tendered a right-of-first-refusal offer to nose tackle Chris Baker. The one-year deal is worth $1.323 million. If another team makes him an offer the Redskins have seven days to match, but they would receive no compensation if he leaves.
Banks was inactive for the final five games, including the playoffs, this past season so his fate likely was decided long ago. Banks returned a kickoff for a touchdown his rookie season of 2010 and averaged 25.1 yards per return. He averaged 11.3 yards per punt returner that year as well. But the 5-foot-7, 153-pound Banks struggled to stay healthy and he said knee issues at times robbed him of some of his explosiveness. Those averages were the best he had in his tenure and this past season he averaged 6.8 yards per punt return with only two of his 26 returns going for 20 or more yards.
As for Baker, the Redskins do have another backup nose tackle in Chris Neild and Ron Brace. However, Baker offers versatility because of his ability to potentially play defensive end. The Redskins will be forced to make some serious cuts to get in compliance with the salary cap. Because defensive end Adam Carriker is coming off a knee injury and because the Redskins would save $2.2 million, he’s a potential cap hit. Carriker has played well for Washington, but they also have former second-round pick Jarvis Jenkins, entering his third year. Jenkins started the final 15 games, including the playoffs, after Carriker was hurt.