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Brian Banks not sweating Atlanta Falcons' final cuts

Hundreds of men will lose their jobs over the next two days as NFL teams have until 6 p.m. ET Saturday to trim their rosters to 53 players.

The prospect of being out of work can overwhelm many players, but Atlanta Falcons linebacker Brian Banks isn't breaking a sweat.

You know Banks' story by now: The former promising high school player spent five years in prison and five more on probation after being falsely accused of rape. He was signed by the Falcons this offseason.

Banks spent the pregame of the Falcons' final preseason game Thursday night with his mother and said he had "no anxiety whatsoever" about making the roster, per the team's official website.

Banks, 28, has had an uphill battle against younger players, many with more experience. He played a total of 31 snaps in the first three preseason games, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He didn't enter Thursday's game until the fourth quarter and finished with two tackles, one for a loss.

It's not a great sign for a player fighting for a roster spot to play sparingly in the final preseason game. The Falcons could cut Banks, then attempt to sign him to their practice squad; however, those eight spots generally are reserved for young projects.

Throughout the process, both general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith have raved about Banks' effort and professionalism.

"He has really matured and progressed as a football player since we've had him on our roster," Smith said Thursday. "He has been a great teammate to the guys in the locker room."

For Banks, the opportunity to compete for an NFL team was all he wanted.

"I've been fully consumed in making this team, trying to catch up on all these years I missed in football," he said. "... It was definitely challenging but, overall, I enjoyed myself immensely."

Whether or not Banks makes it through the final stage, his story is a reminder of the best that athletics can bring out in all of us.

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