Falcons “Still Deciding” On Takk McKinley’s 5th-Year Option

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn told reporters earlier Tuesday that the team is undecided on whether to exercise the fifth-year option in edge rusher Takkarist McKinley‘s rookie contract, according to Jason Butt of The Athletic Atlanta. Butt first reported that Quinn said the team would decline McKinley’s option just after general manager Thomas Dimitroff said the team had yet to make a decision. When Quinn was asked to clarify, he deferred to Dimitroff and said the team was “still deciding.”

McKinley has failed to develop in the way Atlanta hoped when they selected him with the 26th overall pick back in the 2017 NFL Draft. While he has consistently taken the field for the Falcons and put up reasonable production, he has yet to emerge as a legitimate game-changer.

As a rookie, McKinley appeared as a rotational pass rusher in all 16 games and accrued 6.0 sacks. In his sophomore campaign, McKinley started 8 games, recorded 22 tackles, and 7.0 sacks and expectations were he could become a game-changer with time. However, in 2019, McKinley turned in his least productive campaign even while receiving the most playing time of his career (13 starts).

McKinley’s fifth-year option would be above eight figures and would be a very large gamble on a player who has yet to take the next step at the NFL level.

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9 comments on “Falcons “Still Deciding” On Takk McKinley’s 5th-Year Option

  1. dust44

    First Vic Beasley and now Takk. Think it may b a player development issue and not a dudes issue. Both were first rounders and not overdrafted head scratcher guys.. I think Dan Quinn is the issue

  2. bravesfan

    This upcoming draft needs to be 1000000000% elite defense focused. Maybe 1 offensive lineman, but it needs to be overkill on defense. We need much better talent on defense and depth. It’s brutal in both aspects …

    • bravesfan

      We also don’t need to be scared to draft UGA boys or SEC in general. They’ve been battle tested…

      • UGA_Steve

        Agreed. I am not certain why, but the Falcons have never drafted heavily from the SEC. It’s their backyard, but they prefer to draft everywhere else first. It’s probably just who is available and when, but I feel like they are always trying to go with those outlier picks that fail over and over but if you hit one in your career everyone remembers. The Jessie Tuggle types.

        The last three years alone we have taken 9 out of 19 players from outside the Power 5 conferences. Just no explaining it other than thinking they are smarter than everyone else. Add to that the 5 picks from the Pac 10, which might as well not be a Power 5 and that makes 14 out of 19 picks from somewhere outside of the ACC/SEC/Big 10/Big 12. That, does not make sense.

      • david

        The year we went to superbowl, we drafted Neal in first round and jones in secound round both from SEC schools. Then we got takk-trash. Then, Calvin ridley, oh SEC again. What a great pick. Then last year two o-line men that were horrible

  3. UGA_Steve

    My take is this. DE’s are so hit or miss in the draft, I would prefer they take easier to project/hit on positions and spend money on middle tier vets for DE. Good vets know that sacks aren’t everything and play defense the TEAM way instead of the ME way. And the media always basing usefulness off Sacks needs to stop as well.

    To me, the easier to hit positions on defense are DT and LB. Not to mention, younger plays tend to move into those positions with less seasoning, and usually don’t age as well. So, draft DT and LB, spend on DE, and mix it up on S/CB (another two positions with a high bust rate). That way you save money on DT and LB and can replace them quickly through the draft, and put money into harder to ‘hit’ positions.

    I know, I know .. but you need a STUD at DE. I call BS. You need solid football players that know when to sit on a screen or quick slant versus when to run gap/set the edge, versus when to run straight up-field every single snap.

    Same can be said for offense. No free agent contracts for RB’s. You are just throwing away money. Draft RB’s and insert them quickly before injuries take their toll. Draft OL, particularly OT’s to keep costs down, but mix in a vet signing or two (OG’s are cheap in FA compared to almost all other positions). Spend on WR2/3, and QB on offense. Tight end you can flex on. If a stud is available, draft, otherwise just go for those cagey vets that sit just outside the elite price window.

    Just my take, but it seems like the Falcons routinely draft high-failure rate positions .. over and over.

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