The Atlanta Falcons announced that they will not be exercising the fifth-year option for defensive end, Takk McKinley.
McKinley had everyone’s attention on Wednesday as he revealed on Twitter that his fifth-year was declined.
5th year declined 🙏🏿
— Takkarist McKinley (@Takk) April 29, 2020
McKinley, 24, was selected to the Falcons in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Since being drafted he has played in 45 games, accumulated 71 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, and 16.5 sacks. McKinley has been one of the few bright spots among the defensive line for the team. The Falcons brought in some help for the defense by signing veteran pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr. McKinley now has a counterpart in Atlanta that could help boost him in every statistical category.
This decision could mean a plethora of different things for both McKinley and the Falcons. One direction for the team would be to potentially trade the young pass rusher and get some draft capital in the future. The other could be for the team to wait it out and see what kind of production they can get out of him in 2020.
Nonetheless, the Falcons did release a statement regarding their decision to not pick up McKinley’s option:
“We have decided to not move forward with a fifth-year option for Takk and at this time are taking a wait-and-see approach in terms of future contracts. Takk has shown the ability to produce at a high level and we look forward to his production in 2020.”
This news gives us a clear indication that McKinley is officially in a contract year and will become a free agent in 2021. The Falcons are a team that chose to exercise the contracts of Vic Beasley and Keanu Neal. The jury is still out on Neal like it is on McKinley, but I think they are making a big mistake opting out.
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