November 25, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Jonathan Casillas (52) against the San Francisco 49ers prior to a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The 49ers defeated the Saints 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a division rival to the New Orleans Saints, have just wrapped up a deal with the New England Patriots that will send LB Jonathan Casillas up to the Boston area.
The former Wisconsin Badger was originally signed by the Black and Gold following the 2009 NFL Draft. He was expected to take over as the Saints’ starting weakside linebacker his second year with the team, but he injured his foot during the last game of the preseason, ending his 2010 season.
During his time in the Big Easy, Casillas totaled 94 combined tackles, three sacks and three passes defended. He was released in 2013, but soon signed with the Bucs. He played in 12 games before falling on the injured reserve list with a knee injury.
In 17 games and seven games started in Tampa, he racked up 44 combined tackles and a forced fumble. Once thought to be a steal as an unsigned rookie, Casillas just never got it going in the National Football League.
Now, he’ll be taking his talents to New England to play for Coach Bill Belichick and a Super Bowl contender in the Patriots. With Jerod Mayo out for the year and Chandler Jones possibly sidelined for the remainder of the season, snagging Casillas and a sixth-round pick in exchange for a fifth-round selection is a smart move by the Pats. Maybe Jonathan can find his swagger in Boston and revitalize his career.