Report: Vikings to give Banks a tryout

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings are reportedly one of several teams giving exonerated football player Brian Banks a chance at NFL glory.

Banks, who was wrongfully accused of rape and imprisoned for five years, tried out for the Seattle Seahawks and San Diego Chargers last week. He could be at the Vikings’ Winter Park facilities this week. Banks’ attorney Justin Brooks told the San Diego Union-Tribune that Minnesota was one of four other teams expected to give Banks a tryout.

Monday afternoon, CBSSports.com reporter Jason La Canfora reported on his Twitter page that Banks, 26, was set to work out for the Kansas City Chiefs on Tuesday and participate in Seattle’s minicamp on Wednesday and Thursday before coming to meet the Vikings on Friday. La Canfora also reported that Banks was set to participate in minicamp for the San Francisco 49ers next week. He’s also been linked to the Washington Redskins.

Banks, a 6-foot-2, 239-pound middle linebacker, was once a prized college recruit out of Long Beach, Calif. Current Seahawks coach Pete Carroll recruited Banks to USC, and the linebacker had verbally committed to play for the Trojans before he was convicted of kidnapping and rape in 2002.

A childhood friend had accused him of rape and, on advice from his counsel, he pleaded no contest to rape and kidnapping to avoid a life sentence. He spent more than five years in prison and had to register as a sex offender and wear a monitoring device on his ankle after his release.

But his accuser was caught on hidden videotape admitting she lied, and his conviction was thrown out by a judge last month. Finally cleared, he was given a chance to resume his playing career.

“Having an opportunity to walk on that field and have that workout, that’s all I can ask for,” Banks told the Union-Tribune last week. “The biggest thing for me ever has been to obtain and secure my freedom. I’ve already won. Regardless of what happens, I’m already rich. I’m already here.”

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