Takk McKinley‘s time with the Falcons has come to an end. Atlanta has waived the defensive end, a former first-round pick, they announced Monday afternoon.
It was widely reported that the Falcons were shopping the pass-rusher ahead of last week’s trade deadline, but last Monday McKinley announced he wouldn’t be traded, saying Atlanta turned down a handful of offers for him. If that’s true, then it’s pretty strange the Falcons would have chosen not to take some draft compensation only to cut him loose a week later. We heard last week that the team had been seeking a fourth-round pick for him in trade talks.
The 26th overall pick of the 2017 draft, McKinley will now be subjected to waivers and any team can claim him. He’s only owed a little under $900K for the rest of the season, so there’s a good chance we see a team submit a claim this week. Since the Falcons declined the fifth-year option on his contract back in April, he’s set to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.
If he isn’t claimed, there figure to be a number of interested suitors on the free agent market. There are a handful of contending teams who could use edge rushing help including the Titans, who just released Vic Beasley and are dealing with an injury to Jadeveon Clowney, and the Seahawks, who did already trade for Carlos Dunlap.
The UCLA product entered the league with a lot of fanfare, but like most recent Falcons defensive draft picks, he didn’t pan out in Atlanta. He had six sacks as a rookie and seven the next year, but regressed to 3.5 last year despite starting 13 games and appearing in 14. He was only playing a part-time role in the four games he played with them this year, racking up eight tackles, seven quarterback hits, and one sack.
He only turned 25 last week, and still has a lot of theoretical potential. He blasted the team on social media this week for not trading him and allegedly turning down past deals on the table, making the situation untenable. He’ll likely benefit from a fresh start, and it’ll be interesting to see where he lands. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear something.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.