Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takk McKinley announced via twitter that the franchise declined his fifth-year option.
This may have come as a shock to him, but it should not be a surprise to anyone else paying attention. There was no way that the Atlanta Falcons were going to guarantee a fifth year for a defensive end that has spent more time sacking people on twitter than he has on an actual NFL field.
McKinley gave us arguably the greatest draft moment ever just four years when the Falcons drafted him with the 26th pick overall in 2017. The franchise was hoping to pair him and former defensive end, Vic Beasley, together and have an unstoppable tandem for years to come.
Last year the Falcons guaranteed Beasley’s fifth year hoping that Dan Quinn could help him return the guy we saw lead the NFL in sacks in 2016. While Beasley had an improved year, it was not at all worth the nearly $13 million he received.
In the three seasons that Beasley and McKinley played together, they logged a sack in the same game just twice, both coming last season.
The Atlanta Falcons had until May 3rd to pick up the fifth-year option on Takk McKinley as he enters the fourth and final year of his rookie deal.
At this point, Takk McKinley is better on himself and that he can turn things around from a production standpoint in year four. He is betting that he can achieve the level of production that the Atlanta Falcons had envisioned and if he is able to do so, he will end up cashing out a year from now.
Hopefully, this will light a fire under the backside of a guy that at times has seemed disinterested in a game and player that for the most part has gotten a pass from fans because they were more focused on his former counterpart.
No one is saying that McKinley cannot be great, but no one has seen it yet and the team is taking the right approach with him.