The Vikings and free-agent linebacker Brian Banks are trying to schedule to a workout, but it won’t be today, according to a source.
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier confirmed the Vikings’ interest in Banks Tuesday, saying, “I know in talking to (general manager Rick Spielman) and the scouting staff, that’s something that we’ve talked about and there’s a good chance he may be coming in.”
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Banks finished practicing with the Seattle Seahawks during their minicamp this week after a workout with the Kansas City Chiefs on Tuesday. He has also visited with the San Diego Chargers last Friday, but as of Friday morning, none of those visits had produced a contract offer.
Banks is the former high school football star at Long Beach Poly who was falsely accused of rape and kidnapping in 2002, served five years in jail and spent the last five years on probation with a tracking device that meant he couldn’t fulfill the required travel schedules of professional football teams.
Banks’ accuser, who attended his high school, recanted her story recently after the California Innocence Project took on his case. His conviction was overturned and his record cleared in May.
“I think what I take from it all, the advice that I appreciate the most is just enjoy the moment. Enjoy the moment,” Banks told reporters in Seattle this week. “If it’s for one day, if it’s for a whole season, if it’s for however long, just enjoy the moment. I’ve already won. I have my freedom. That’s what’s most important to me. Making this team is just additional blessings to this freedom.”
Like the Seahawks, the Vikings could have Banks attend minicamp next week, but his exact date to meet with team officials hasn’t been determined yet. For now, he has given himself a chance with three teams and is trying to get back in the flow of football practices.
“It was more overwhelming than I thought,” Banks said after his Wednesday practice with the Seahawks. “I had high hopes and dreams of being out here today and just to finally be out here, to have this helmet on, to have this name on the back of this jersey, to be a part of this team for a day it’s more than I could ever imagine.”
“I wanted to take a picture for myself. It was just amazing to see my name on the back of it,” Banks said. “It’s an honor. It’s an honor to be taken seriously and get this opportunity.”
Banks weighed nearly 275 pounds last October, according to the Associated Press, but he trimmed down to 239 for his initial tryout with the Seahawks last week.
“Can he run, can he move, does he look the part? All of that is a plus,” Seattle linebacker coach Ken Norton Jr. told the Associated Press. “Does he make a good first impression? He made a great first impression. Really bright, really smart, well spoken. He has a great memory. He remembers everything you tell him and that’s a great plus at this point.”