The issue first arose a week or so ago when ESPN 980 insider Chris Russell was speaking on a show about the status of the electrifying Brandon Banks. During casual conversation, Russell was asked about people that were considered a safe bet to be on the roster. Among the names listed were Chris Cooley, Brian Orakpo, London Fletcher, LaRon Landry etc. When Russell was asked if Brandon Banks, the fastest (and lightest) man on the team, was a lock to make the roster…he paused. Then started with “well…I’m not so sure.”
This is something I have had a gut feeling about for a while. Banks is known to have his off-field issues, including a stabbing incident during the lockout. Apparently there are some in-house issues as well and with the Redskins bringing in everybody but Art Monk at receiver, one has to wonder. Is there going to be any room left for number sixteen?
Here is the Redskins wide receiver roster breakdown as of now (courtesy of Redskins.com)
Notice that this list doesn’t even include Donte Stallworth, another newly acquired threat. From a pure fan perspective, I can see Armstrong and Moss starting. I can also see rookie Niles Paul making the squad, at least from what I’ve heard coming out of Ashburn. That leaves about two slots for the remaining eight guys. Banks has the speed and a familiarity with the system, which may be enough to edge out the newcomers especially in a lockout-shortened off season.
But what happens if he drops a pass or two in the first preseason game? or he fumbles a kickoff?
I feel as though Brandon Banks is an invaluable asset on special teams, but he’ll have to take reps on offense and prove his worth as a receiver to justify keeping him on the roster. We can only hope he’s back there returning kicks on September 11th versus the Giants.