Falcons Sign Brian Banks … Who Was Wrongfully Accused of Rape & Spent 5 Years in Prison
“The kid will get a second chance that he deserves,” a team official said in a text Wednesday.
The 27-year-old linebacker will participate in Atlanta’s offseason workouts with a chance to resume his career. The Falcons have scheduled a conference call for Wednesday with Banks.
Banks served more than five years in prison following a conviction a decade ago on rape and kidnapping charges. The woman later recanted her claim and offered to help Banks clear his name.
Banks was trying to land a spot in the NFL and got his first tryout with the Seattle Seahawks last year. He also received tryouts with the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs, and eventually took part in Seattle’s minicamp last June.
Banks was grateful to Seattle coach Pete Carroll for the opportunity to see where he stacked up against NFL players. Banks had verbally committed to playing for Carroll at USC before the player’s arrest and conviction.
He eventually signed last year with the United Football League’s Las Vegas Locomotives, appearing in two games and making one tackle before the UFL suspended its season in October.
“We are pleased to have Brian join our team,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said in a statement. “We had a chance to work him out last year and have been monitoring his progress since then. He has worked extremely hard for this chance over the last year and he has shown us that he is prepared for this opportunity. We are happy that Brian will have a chance to live out his dream of playing in the NFL and we look forward to seeing him on the field.” This was a very good move on the NFL Behalf.