The Arizona Cardinals beefed up their safety depth with a couple of moves on Monday. Less than two hours after agreeing to terms with former Cincinnati Bengals safety and team captain Shawn Williams, the Cardinals announced that Chris Banjo will return to the Valley on a one-year contract.
Banjo's contract details have not ben disclosed, but he made a base salary of $1.05 million last year. The minimum salary for a player with his experience is $990,000.
Banjo, 31, originally came to the Cardinals as a free agent on Sept. 25, 2019. The eight-year veteran played 26 games for Arizona in 2019 and 2020.
Last year, he helped fill the void for starter Jalen Thompson, who dealt with multiple ankle injuries that held him to five games. Banjo played a career-high 39 percent of the defensive snaps with four starts. He also played 40 percent of special-teams snaps.
He joins a room that now includes Williams, 2020 All-Pro Budda Baker, Thompson, Deionte Thompson and Charles Washington, who primarily plays special teams. Washington re-signed as an unrestricted free agent last week and the re-signing of Banjo increases to eight the number of unrestricted free agents the Cardinals have re-signed.
Last year, the positional depth got tested. Baker missed one game, Banjo missed three and Jalen Thompson 11.
In Week 4 against the Carolina Panthers, all three of them were out. Carolina scored 28 points in three quarters to eventually win 31-21.
The hope that is Jalen Thompson returns healthy, as he is someone who the coaching staff praised prior to the start of the 2020 season. If he does, that takes away some of the variability Arizona faced last year. But, if the Cardinals need to dig into their depth again, Banjo and Williams provide more experienced players available.