Opting not to take their chances on waivers, the Detroit Lions traded for former Buccaneers second-round pick Johnthan Banks on Tuesday, just a day after Tampa Bay made it clear that they were cutting him.

The deal is for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2018 — essentially a small fee for a half-season tryout.


Banks was a square peg in a round hole under new Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith and hasn’t started a single game for Tampa Bay this season. The cornerback-needy Lions are taking a flier on the college teammate of defensive star Darius Slay. Banks went seven picks after Slay in the 2013 NFL Draft.

It’s surprising we don’t see more of these deals around the deadline. It would be quite easy for a team to announce or leak an impending cut just to stoke whatever minor interest there might be in a handful of teams out there. While a seventh-round draft pick isn’t changing the game for anyone, it’s one more lottery ticket for the Bucs this April.

Banks, 27, has seven interceptions and 17 passes defensed over four NFL seasons.

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