Longtime NFL Safety Announces Retirement After 10 Seasons

A veteran NFL safety is calling it a career. Chris Banjo went to social media on Sunday to announce his retirement from the league. He spent the last two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals but was released from the team last week. According to Mike Klis of Denver 9News, Banjo was released from his contract so he could join the Denver Broncos coaching staff as an assistant special team coach. Banjo played for Broncos head coach Sean Payton when they were with the New Orleans Saints. 

"Thankful for 33 years of life!! Thankful for the journey," Banjo wrote in an Instagram post. "Thankful for the memories. Thankful for the teammates turned family. Thankful for the opportunities. The cats already out the bag! But on my 33rd Birthday I'm officially retiring from PLAYING in the NFL. Would have never thought that a 1st generation Nigerian kid who got REJECTED by the league would play for a DECADE!! Can NEVER tell me God is not real…cause I'm living proof! Thank you to those who believed in me..and thank you to those who didn't! Couldn't have done it without y'all!"

Banjo originally signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He was released by the team that summer but joined the Green Bay Packers before the start of the 2013 season. In his rookie season, Banjo played in 16 games and tallied 19 tackles and two passes defended. Banjo would spend the next few seasons in Green Bay before signing with the Saints in November 2016. He spent the next three seasons with the Saints before signing with the Cardinals in 2019. Banjo played in 131 career games and recorded 143 tackles, three interceptions and eight passes defended. 

Banjo will now work with special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica and assistant head coach Mike Westhoff. The former NFL safety hopes he can help Payton and the Broncos being home a Super Bowl title. "The training room, the weight room, how we approach ticket sales — everything matters," Payton told reporters earlier this month, per the Broncos' official website. "You can't just say it's only this that's important, right? Everything matters. How we traveled. How we celebrated in the locker room. We bought a $30,000 stereo system [for] 'Club Dub.' And we felt it was important, especially on the road, that everyone that could possibly hear our locker room celebrating, like, 'What is going on in there?' That is creating culture, with the right people [and] with the right details."