The Tampa Bay Bucs made a couple roster moves Monday afternoon and they both involved members of the team’s 2013 draft class. received confirmation earlier in the day that on-again, off-again Buccaneer running back Mike James is back in Tampa Bay. Not long after, multiple outlets began reporting the waiver out-of-favor cornerback Johnthan Banks.

Bucs RB Mike James – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs RB Mike James – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The signing of James comes a day after Jacquizz Rodgers left late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 30-24 overtime loss to the Oakland Raiders with a foot injury. The team hadn’t released an official announcement regarding James’ return prior to Monday’s press conference with Dirk Koetter, so the head coach deflected questions regarding the situation.

Rodgers was seen in the locker room Monday wearing a protective boot on his injured foot. He was hurt during the Bucs’ final offensive series in regulation and did not play in overtime. Since coming to Tampa Bay to take over for injured starters Doug Martin and Charles Sims, Rodgers has played in six games and rushed 88 times for 393 yards (4.5 yards per carry) and scored one touchdown. The score came Sunday on a 1-yard rush that allowed Tampa Bay to retake the lead at the time, 24-17.

The Bucs drafted James in the sixth round in 2013 out of the University of Miami. The 25-year-old Haines City native has been released and re-signed on multiple occasions since then. After being waived in early September, the Detroit Lions signed James to their practice squad in October.

In 19 total career games played, James has rushed for 332 yards on 79 carries (4.2-yard average).

CB Johnthan Banks was a second round pick in 2012 – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
CB Johnthan Banks – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

Banks was also part of Tampa Bay’s 2013 draft class, coming to the Bucs out of Mississippi State in the second round. He started all 16 games as a rookie, 14 of the 15 games he played in 2014. During that two-year span he recorded seven interceptions, 15 passes defensed and 105 tackles.

Things started to go downhill last season and his playing time under then-head coach Lovie Smith began to decline. Banks started only seven of 14 games played in 2015. That trend accelerated under the first-year combo of head coach Dirk Koetter and defensive coordinator Mike Smith. Banks has appeared in five of seven games this year without making a single start and he’s been inactive the past two weeks.

Respectively, Banks and James represent the first and last players selected by the Bucs in 2013. The team traded away its first-round pick to the New York Jets for cornerback Darrelle Revis.

Other players selected by Tampa Bay in 2013 were quarterback Mike Glennon (third round), defensive tackle Akeem Spence (fourth round), defensive end William Gholston (fourth round) and defensive end Steven Means (fifth round).

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About the Author: Eric Horchy

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4 years ago

Odd move. I got the feeling they were keeping Banks out as a healthy scratch the last couple of games because they didn’t want an injury to tarnish his trade value. Letting him go for nothing seems like another obvious mistake in a long line of Bucs personnel mistakes, especially given how well he played in the preseason. Mike Smith’s defense is not getting very good results with or without Banks on the sidelines. I imagine Banks will catch on with another cornerback-hungry team that doesn’t make so many personnel mistakes. Whatever. Welcome back, Mike James!

4 years ago

Not surprised at all. I guess Rogers is going to be out for a few weeks or more. We still need a WR so I will go out on a limb and say Shorts will be cut an e will bring in another WR from the outside or our PS. I wonder if Dye has gotten in shape yet?

4 years ago

Just kidding here fellas, but these are trying times. It’s safer working on Deadliest Catch than playing for the Bucs these days! I’m going to trust the guys in charge for now, but I have GM Jason licht on my watch list. No panic, not a no confidence vote yet, just got my attention on where this team goes from here! We need stability and better talent!

Reply to  macabee
4 years ago

Mac you’re like a cold beer on a hot summer day. Licht is on my watch list too. Why do we get nothing for an experienced, 6’2″ CB who was a number 2 draft pick? Could we not at least get a 7th rounder? Eric, would you guys ask this question? It NEEDS to be asked. Bilecheat would get at least something. Hell trade his ass to Cleveland. Now there’s the way to handle malcontents and trouble makers. Send them to purgatory…l0l We should have traded ASJ to Cleveland instead of cutting him. Again a well regarded second rounder that… Read more »

Reply to  76Buc
4 years ago

76Buc we didn’t get anything for Banks because he sucks, plain and simple. I don’t care how tall he was, he had no instincts, he was a poor tackler, he just plain old fashioned sucked.

Reply to  pinkstob
4 years ago

Haha , Pink , I was waiting for youre comment on this one. However we did get a 7th rounder. Albeit in 2018.

4 years ago

And a kicker…… lol

4 years ago

Yeah the kicker. The second round basket case. Licht will always be remembered for trading up for a kicker who can’t kick. He killed two careers that day.