There will be roughly 2,800 players vying for roster spots in NFL training camps.
None will have a more inspirational story than linebacker Brian Banks.
Banks - who spent a decade trying to exonerate himself for a crime he didn't commit - was signed Wednesday as a free agent by the Atlanta Falcons.
"I can't believe this is happening. It's surreal," Banks said on a conference call with NFL media. "I want to jump up and go crazy. It's such a big deal.
"This is the biggest accomplishment besides getting my life and freedom back. But it's also just the beginning."
Once a highly touted high school recruit in Long Beach, Calif., Banks was charged at age 16 with rape against a fellow student. Although he proclaimed innocence throughout and was never linked to the crime via DNA testing, Banks pled no contest on the advice of his attorney who reportedly feared he might receive a much sterner sentence if found guilty during trial. Banks was sentenced to five years in prison followed by f...