Brian Banks’ dream of playing in the NFL may have come to an end, as the Atlanta Falcons released the linebacker on Friday afternoon.
UPDATE: Sunday, Sept. 1, at 2:20 p.m. ET
Brian Banks released a statement on Twitter following his release from the Falcons:
My time with the Atlanta Falcons... An unbelievable experience to add to this life of mine. Looking forward to what's to come.— Brian Banks (@BrianBanksFREE) September 1, 2013
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UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 30
The Falcons made the announcement via Twitter:
The Falcons have made their initial round of cuts, including LB Brian Banks: http://t.co/PYRH8kJFxV— Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) August 30, 2013
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Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported the tough cut via Twitter:
Glazer noted that Banks went out with an emotional speech following the Falcons' final preseason game of the year. He brought hardened men to the verge of tears as he spoke about how he appreciated every minute on the field.
Brian gave a speech last night to the team that had some vets on the verge of tears, about appreciating every second on that field— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) August 30, 2013
However, his time in professional football may not be over. Glazer reported team owner Arthur Blank came away extremely impressed by Banks, likely due to his resolve on and off the field.
Blank is reportedly hoping to keep Banks around the Falcons organization by finding him a job in the Atlanta area.
Banks' story is remarkable, as he notably spent five years in prison and five years on probation after being falsely accused and convicted of rape. The 28-year-old rookie had that ruling overturned in court last year and attempted to achieve his dream of playing professional football.
The Los Angeles native tried out for a number of NFL teams in 2012, but he ultimately signed with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League.
Will Banks ever play in the NFL?
He gave the NFL another shot this year and caught on with the Falcons from April through the end of August. Banks played sparingly in preseason, with his best statistical performance coming in Week 4’s contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Banks picked up two solo tackles (one for a loss) after entering the game in the fourth quarter.
It’s a bittersweet end for Banks, who took to Instagram before the cuts to tell the world that no matter what happened, he would be happy:
The linebacker shouldn’t give up hope now, as there is still a chance he is added to a roster during the season or at some point in the future. Banks did his absolute best and should be proud of how far he has come after facing so much adversity.