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Falcons give Brian Banks a chance

Brian Banks AP

By now, Brian Banks is used to waiting.

He sat in prison for five years, punished for a crime he didn’t commit.  Freed last May after the victim admitted she had falsely accused him, the former USC recruit has been trying patiently but persistently to get a shot at the NFL.

Finally, he’s getting one.

Jay Glazer of FOX, who has worked extensively with Banks to get him into NFL shape, reports that the Atlanta Falcons have signed Banks to a contract.

Banks, a linebacker, received tryouts last year from the Seahawks, Chargers, and Chiefs.  Eventually, he joined the UFL — and then the UFL promptly imploded.

The NFL won’t be imploding any time soon.  But the road for Banks remains steep.

Teams may have up to 90 players on the roster in the offseason.  He’ll now have to earn one of 53 regular-season spots or, failing that, one of eight jobs on the practice squad.

But at least he finally has a chance.  We wish him well as he tries to make the most of it.

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46 Responses to “Falcons give Brian Banks a chance”
  1. kingdm8 says: Apr 3, 2013 9:32 AM

    That is awesome.

  2. rubicon202 says: Apr 3, 2013 9:32 AM

    Good luck!

  3. hartcarluncarlun says: Apr 3, 2013 9:33 AM

    Just a class organization. From the owner on down. Example of how a franchise should be ran…..talking to u Jerry!!!!

  4. urlacher54 says: Apr 3, 2013 9:34 AM

    About time. Was rooting for this guy to get a shot at a roster spot last year. The man has an incredibly positive attitude considering everything he has gone through. Good on the Falcons, hopefully he makes the 53 man roster.

  5. readysethike says: Apr 3, 2013 9:36 AM

    thats real cool…im a bit suprised the jets didnt try and sign him we all know how they love publicity

  6. starderup says: Apr 3, 2013 9:46 AM

    He must still have some skills, or Blank, Smith and TD wouldn’t be giving him this chance. Good luck, bud.

  7. ravensfansc says: Apr 3, 2013 9:46 AM

    Good luck! Wish nothing but the best for him.

  8. steelernationisuperiortothelowlyplebsofthenfllolol says: Apr 3, 2013 9:46 AM

    Steeler Nation (in all of its glory): We have sixty rings.

    You: No, I’m pretty sure your tremendously successful franchise only has six rings.

    Steeler Nation (in all of its glory): Wrong you are. See, every ring that we have conquered carries ten times the magnitude of another franchise’s.

    You: That’s ridiculous!

    Steeler Nation (in all of its glory): Viewing history from afar, the Steeler Nation has established itself as the most decorated professional sports franchise since the dawn of the Super Bowl era. We (Steeler Nation in all of its glory; 6 rings) have materialized ourselves into something beyond mortal standards. The scope of our greatness multiplies to compensate for this vast superiority.

    You: Mmhmm – I see. There is no denying the Steelers’ immensity, and I’m starting to question why they aren’t getting much respect lately despite significant adversity from the league “string-pullers.”

    Steeler Nation (in all of its glory): This is why we (Steeler Nation in all of its glory) have decided to leave this petty league following the 2013-2014 season (and a final Lombardi capture – despite the league’s efforts to stop us) to begin our own magnificent association, free of corruption.

    You: Great! I look forward to witnessing this remarkably significant event in football history. All hail the Steelers’ leadership in the face of football’s destruction from Goodell, agents, and lawyers. All have witnessed it, but none took a stand like you guys did.

    Steeler Nation (in all of its glory): Spread the word. ☺

    You: Oh, I will! ☺

  9. 97tahoe says: Apr 3, 2013 9:47 AM

    Very Cool that the Falcon’s are giving him a chance. The attitude that this young man maintains, after all that he has been through is amazing and inspiring. Best of luck Mr. Banks!!!

  10. godofwine330 says: Apr 3, 2013 9:48 AM

    That is great. I cannot imagine what he’s been through. Being in jain for 5 years for something that you didn’t do? How do you not come out pissed at the world for what was stolen from you? I wish him the best.

  11. CKL says: Apr 3, 2013 9:49 AM

    I hope everyone can put their team loyalty aside and root for this kid. I hope he catches on there and beasts.

  12. fosteraustralianfortouchdown says: Apr 3, 2013 9:51 AM

    Seems like a driven, hard working young man i hope he suceedes despite whats unfairly happened to him, lesser men would have given up, best of luck Banks, you deserve it!

  13. jimmyt says: Apr 3, 2013 9:52 AM

    Wanetta Gibson belongs in prison for one of the worse crimes that can be committed – knowingly, wrongfully accusing someone of a crime. It’s a shame but it’s true, in the case of a rape claim a man is guilty until proven innocent and even in that event it will follow you forever. That needs to change.

  14. jkjdawg1 says: Apr 3, 2013 9:52 AM

    I’m happy he’s getting a shot, and REALLY happy it’s with my team. i hope he at least makes the practice squad.

    the fact that he’s getting signed now, this late in life and considering the past 5 years, shows how great he probably could have been if he’d gone through college and came out the draft like everyone else.

  15. nirvana504 says: Apr 3, 2013 9:52 AM

    I’d rather stay in jail than play for the loser Falcons

  16. gscheelar says: Apr 3, 2013 9:57 AM

    Hope he does well, makes the team and reaches his goals. If this does not pan out (as is likely, unfortunately), he should consider playing in Canada for a couple of years. Worked great for a guy like Cam Wake and the talent evaluators of the NHL are grabbing guys from north of the border regularly.

  17. chazzmon says: Apr 3, 2013 9:59 AM

    Guy deserves a break, I hope it works out for him.

  18. addict2sport says: Apr 3, 2013 10:04 AM

    Great story. Please provide updates as the offseason moves forward. (When did the Falcons become the best run organization in the league? Seems every move they make the last two-three years is all class and successful.)

  19. dugganmt says: Apr 3, 2013 10:06 AM

    So you’re telling me there’s a chance!

  20. darthsaint says: Apr 3, 2013 10:10 AM

    I’m now fan of the Falcons for obvious reasons. But even a die hard Saints fan is rooting for this kid to make that team…even if it is THAT team. =)

    Good luck chasing the dream. You deserve some breaks.

  21. everton422 says: Apr 3, 2013 10:12 AM

    The one person who down-voted the “That is awesome.” and “Good luck!” comments at the top is the girl who wrongfully put this man in jail, spent the tons of money she received, and is now on welfare.

  22. leggett17 says: Apr 3, 2013 10:13 AM

    He pled “no contest” to the original charges. I don’t care what the idiot public defender recommended, he should have went to trial. He also had tryouts with three teams last year and couldn’t cut it. But you guys go ahead and put on your skirt and get all emotional for him.

  23. eaglesfan290 says: Apr 3, 2013 10:14 AM

    The girl should be in jail!

  24. jm91rs says: Apr 3, 2013 10:15 AM

    I hope he makes it, but this guy would have been much smarter going back to school, he had full college eligibility. A free ride and a chance to play big time college football would have served him better. I assume he has no eligibility after trying out for professional teams?

  25. jimmyt says: Apr 3, 2013 10:18 AM

    Anyone else feel the urge to tell someone that the Steelers haven’t done much lately and he has probably only alive long enough (based on maturity level) to witness one of the ring ceremonies?

  26. kirbylaw says: Apr 3, 2013 10:18 AM

    Hopefully the young man received at least a modest signing bonus. That would be good to know. If yes, all hats off to Mr. Blank.

  27. kansacity88 says: Apr 3, 2013 10:21 AM

    What the hell happened to the rebirth of the USFL? Surely, if things don’t work out for him in the NFL, he can get a spot there and work on getting up to game speed and getting some snaps! Go to the AFL too. I’m not downing the Banks at all…I want to see this guy succeed too! The more playing time he gets OUTSIDE the NFL (AFL, NIFL, USFL, etc.) the more game shape he will be in the get a spot on an NFL team. If things don’t work out with the Falcons, Brian, don’t stop there! Keep pushing baby! Get in where you fit in, dude!

  28. raiderufan says: Apr 3, 2013 10:33 AM

    Watched the 60 minutes piece on him last night….if anyone was gonna make it to the NFL after what he’s been thru it’s this guy. 14 days out of jail he showed enough to get multiple tryouts and after a year of what looks like crushing workouts and a chance to watch tape he could do something. Most likely a reserve mostly special teams role but that would be a massive victory. I’m definitely pulling for him.

    And Jimmyt could not be more right. Something like this without reprecussion should not be tolerated in any way, shape or form. She should have to serve the same sentence he did before his release. 5 years and time added for every dime she scammed from the law suits she won.

  29. dirtybird28 says: Apr 3, 2013 10:35 AM

    Hell of a story. hopefully he will make it, and if not with the Falcons, then somewhere else!

  30. johart52 says: Apr 3, 2013 10:49 AM

    What a story. Hope he makes it. He definitely deserves this opportunity.

  31. scoobies05 says: Apr 3, 2013 10:51 AM

    to mr banks…best of luck to you. i hope you can make your dreams come true. to jimmy t…i got your back bro. just another misinformed delusional steeler fan who thinks the world began when after 40 plus years of ineptitude the steelers actually did something. it hilarious how because they sucked for so long they just dismiss the accomplishments of the rest of the nfl. and as far as the most successful sports franchise since the dawn of the super bowl era….thats wrong too. anyways…good luck mr banks

  32. beckzhere says: Apr 3, 2013 11:01 AM

    Low risk, medium reward signing. Lets see if he can make the most of it.

  33. Sideline Mob says: Apr 3, 2013 11:13 AM

    Why is this article still referring to Wanetta Gibson as “the victim”? The only victim here is Brian Banks.

    Mr. Banks, we hope you make the Falcons’ roster. Your faith and determination inspire us.

  34. rkhannaatl says: Apr 3, 2013 11:17 AM

    Welcome to D-BLOCK

  35. cowboys8819 says: Apr 3, 2013 12:08 PM

    I really hope he makes it! The guy deserves it!

  36. njraiderfan19 says: Apr 3, 2013 12:14 PM

    If there was ever a guy to root for….. This is just great to hear.

  37. steelernationisuperiortothelowlyplebsofthenfllolol says: Apr 3, 2013 12:25 PM

    The Failcons will conjure up another chokejob in the playoffs. That’s what they do.

    Marty Choke is afraid of the big lights. He curls up and thinks of his safe place.

  38. scoobies05 says: Apr 3, 2013 1:01 PM

    at least he’s never been tebowed

  39. crownofthehelmet says: Apr 3, 2013 1:13 PM

    Ravens should have signed him, he’s the Bizarro Ray Lewis:

    Banks – doesn’t commit crime, goes to jail.
    Lewis – commits crime, doesn’t go to jail.

  40. skinsfan91 says: Apr 3, 2013 1:16 PM

    The Falcons didn’t sign him to be nice. They signed him because they think he can help them win.

  41. jaltreality says: Apr 3, 2013 1:22 PM

    I’m a Saints fan. But, whatever the team, I hope this guy gets a chance. I’m really not quite sure how great of an athlete he is but, like most of us, just hope he has some luck in his life to match how unfortunate the events of his imprisonment were.

    That said, I also believe fans need to wake up. Even when someone is convicted (much less just accused of a crime), we do not know the whole story. Yet, everyone jumps to the conclusion that the person is guilty, that he did what he was accused of, etc.

    We seem to only care about our athletes if 1. they’re on our team and 2. after they’re exonerated or when they pass away. Team rivalries are fine, but we should still view our gladiators as humans.

  42. scoobies05 says: Apr 3, 2013 2:19 PM

    there you go crown….ray did serve time for the crime he committed. he never killed anyone. the case has been tried and closed. and not you or any of your steeler loving pals can change the truth. so give it a rest…you hve no clue what you are talking about

  43. crownofthehelmet says: Apr 3, 2013 2:58 PM

    scoobie, I enjoy trading jabs with you, so I gotta say this – you sound as ridiculous defending him as Deb sounded defending Big Ben a few seasons ago.

    It’s OK, he was a great linebacker, he doesn’t have to be a good human being for you to root for him.

    If that were the case, the league would be filled with average players like Tebow, Pat White, or Flacco.

  44. laserrocketarm12 says: Apr 3, 2013 2:58 PM

    As a Saints fan, the last thing I want to do is give props to the Atlanta Falcons, but it’s pretty hard not to in this case. Crap.

  45. scoobies05 says: Apr 3, 2013 4:35 PM

    always enjoy our discusions too crown. its all in good fun. but seriously my man. have you ever truly read up on the ray case. you seem like a smart guy. if you took time to read the facts i think your opinion would change. i dont believe ray is a saint by the way. he is a football player. but the facts say that the two men who were killed that that night instigated the whole incident. ray’s friends who were there were ruled to have acted in self defense. after the atlanta district atty office realized their error in arresting ray for the murders all charges were dropped against him. the obs of justice came in because ray wouldnt tell what hapened. was ray involved in the fight. im sure. did he kill anyone. no. did he get blood on the suit. probably. but everything i just said is a matter of public record. anxiously awaiting your response my friend

  46. scoobies05 says: Apr 3, 2013 4:35 PM

    and easy on the flacco stuff. we can compare him to ben later

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