Takkarist McKinley

Browns To Sign Takk McKinley

The Browns are getting some of the edge rushing help they’ve been seeking. Cleveland has agreed to terms on a deal with defensive end Takkarist McKinley, Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports tweets.

It’s a one-year pact with a base value of $4.25MM that can be worth up to $6MM, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Sounds like the deal is rich on incentives, which makes plenty of sense for a player in McKinley’s circumstances. The UCLA product was the 27th overall pick in 2017, but things never worked out for him in Atlanta. By the end he was butting heads with management and blasting the team on social media, which ultimately led to him getting waived.

A bizarre saga then ensued, with a number of teams trying to claim him to cash in on his potential. He was claimed by the Bengals and then 49ers, but failed physicals with both teams and reverted to waivers each time. He was then finally claimed and cleared by the Raiders, but spent the rest of last season on Las Vegas’ injured reserve.

McKinley has shown plenty of flashes and most metrics graded him very positively when on the field recently, so it’s a nice low-risk signing for Cleveland. The story all offseason was that the Browns were looking for a big-name pass-rusher to pair next to Myles Garrett, and they expressed interest in J.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, and Trey Hendrickson before they signed with different teams.

This McKinley signing isn’t as splashy as one of those other guys would’ve been, but he’s got significant upside. Still only 25, he’s got plenty of time to turn around his career narrative.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders To Place Takk McKinley On IR

Takkarist McKinley‘s busy month of transactions continued Friday. The Raiders are placing the recently acquired defensive end on IR, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

This move comes after the Raiders submitted a third waiver claim for McKinley. After watching the Bengals and 49ers send him back to waivers following failed physicals, the Raiders will work around that process by placing the pass rusher on IR.

McKinley is dealing with a groin injury, but the Raiders are clearly high on the former first-round pick. They will stash him on IR for at least three games. McKinley will not be eligible to debut for Las Vegas until Week 15.

McKinley’s November has included: the Falcons shopping him, McKinley accusing the team of turning down trades, the Falcons waiving him, the Bengals claiming him and waiving him, the 49ers claiming him and waiving him, and the Raiders claiming him. The Raiders and Browns each submitted three waiver claims for McKinley. After Sunday night’s loss to the Chiefs, the Raiders held a higher waiver priority.

Despite Takk’s rookie deal expiring at season’s end, the Raiders are in need of pass-rushing help. He will now profile as a hopeful mid-December boost for the AFC playoff contenders.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Peko, Snacks, McKinley, Titans

The Cardinals officially signed Domata Peko today, and it sounds like head coach Kliff Kingsbury is excited to utilize the 15-year veteran.

“We’re excited about the signing,” said Kingsbury (via the team’s website). “VJ has some history there. I only just met him (Monday) but I have heard great things about his attitude, his energy. He’s a guy who has played at a high level in this league for a long time. We’ll see how he is this week and what he can handle, and we’re hopeful he can contribute at some point moving forward.”

The Cardinals will were to turn to the soon-to-be 36-year-old following a number of injuries on their defensive line; Corey Peters, Jordan Phillips, Zach Allen, Leki Fotu, and Rashard Lawrence are all sitting on injured reserve. Peko looked like he had something left in the tank in 2019, as he compiled 14 tackles in seven games with the Ravens.

As NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport passes along (via Twitter), Peko will earn $600K guaranteed for the regular season and has a chance to earn up to an additional $300K during the postseason.

More notes from around the NFL…

  • Prior to being signed to the Seahawks active roster, it sounds like defensive tackle Damon Harrison was generating some interest from around the league. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that both the Packers and Ravens tried to sign “Snacks.” Since Seattle could no longer elevate the veteran, they decided to protect him and offered a spot on their active roster. Harrison, a former All-Pro nose tackle, hooked on with Seattle’s practice squad in October. After taking some time to get back into playing shape, Snacks is ready to be a contributor on clear running downs.
  • The Raiders claimed defensive end Takkarist McKinley off waivers today, but they weren’t the only team to place a claim on the embattled lineman. Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Browns also made a claim on McKinley. Of course, considering the 25-year-old has failed a pair of physicals and been waived twice over the past few weeks, there’s a chance Cleveland could get another shot.
  • The Titans recently auditioned kicker Sam Sloman, per the league’s transaction wire. The rookie seventh-rounder began the season as the Rams starting kicker, connecting on eight of his 11 field goal attempts and 18 of his 21 extra point tries. However, the organization ultimately replaced him with veteran Kai Forbath, leading to the rookie’s release.

Raiders Claim DE Takk McKinley

The Raiders have claimed defensive end Takkarist McKinley off waivers, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. This marks McKinley’s fourth NFL team this month. After he was dropped by the Falcons, he failed physicals with both the Bengals and 49ers.

The Niners were still said to be interested in the former-first rounder, but they couldn’t find room for him on the active roster while he nurses a groin injury. McKinley has 17.5 career sacks to his credit, though just one of those have come in 2020. The UCLA product has had an up-and-down career as a pro. He registered 13 sacks over his first two seasons but, since 2019, he’s logged just 4.5 in total.

There’s plenty for Jon Gruden and the Raiders to like about him still, especially since he notched seven QB hits in just 85 snaps for the Falcons this year. As a team, the Raiders have collected only 46 QB hits, which is a bottom-10 mark this season.

Maxx Crosby and Arden Key are currently slotted in as the Raiders’ starting defensive ends. McKinley will likely have to battle with several other veterans for playing time, a grouping that includes Carl Nassib and practice squad players Chris Smith and David Irving.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Takk McKinley Fails 49ers Physical

Takkarist McKinley has not lacked for suitors since the Falcons waived him, but the former first-round pick has run into medical trouble since leaving Atlanta.

Days after McKinley did not pass a Bengals physical, the 49ers also failed him on their medical exam, The Athletic’s Matt Barrows reports (on Twitter). The 49ers waived him Friday. The 49ers have not given up on McKinley, but because of the waiver system, they risk losing him. McKinley is battling a groin injury.

Interestingly, the Browns and Raiders joined the 49ers in submitting two waiver claims for McKinley. The AFC teams tried to claim the fourth-year defensive end after the Falcons cut him, but the Bengals’ priority won out. They again put in claims after the Bengals waived him, but the 49ers won out, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. It will be interesting to see if the six-win AFCers try again.

The Falcons shopped McKinley before the trade deadline but did not end up dealing him. The 2017 first-rounder appears to have a market, but he will need to return to full health to benefit from it. He will be a first-time free agent if no team claims him this time around.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Claim Takk McKinley

3:16pm: This time, the 49ers’ claim went through. They landed McKinley through waivers Wednesday afternoon, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The 49ers have a Week 11 bye, which will allow the veteran defensive end to go through COVID-19 protocols and practice — provided he passes a physical — next week.

9:32am: The 49ers will take another shot at Takkarist McKinley, head coach Kyle Shanahan says (Twitter link via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports). The Niners were among the clubs who submitted waiver claims for the defensive end when he was first dropped by the Falcons. 

[RELATED: Bengals Waive Takk McKinley]

On the first go ’round, the Bengals had the highest waiver priority of the bunch and snagged McKinley. His time in Cincinnati was short-lived – the Bengals released him after he failed his physical with the team. In addition to the Bengals, the 49ers, Browns, and Raiders also submitted claims — the 4-6 49ers have the highest priority of that group, so they should be poised to add him to the roster before the end of the business day.

Injuries have depleted the 49ers’ once-formidable defensive line. Without Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas for the rest of the year (and possibly Dee Ford), McKinley represents their best chance to salvage things and put the pressure on opposing QBs.

McKinley has 17.5 career sacks to his credit, though just one of those came in 2020 season. The UCLA product registered 13 sacks over his first two seasons. Since 2019, he’s logged just 4.5 in total. On the flipside, the first-round pick did notch seven QB hits in just 85 snaps this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Waive Takk McKinley

Takk McKinley‘s time with the Bengals is over before it really ever began. Cincinnati waived the defensive end after he failed his physical with the team, they announced on Tuesday.

Cincy had just claimed McKinley off waivers from the Falcons last week. He’ll now revert to waivers, where every team will again have the chance to claim him. In addition to the Bengals, the 49ers, Browns, and Raiders also submitted claims last time. The 49ers have the highest waiver priority among those teams so they’ll presumable be able to get him if they still want him, unless a previously uninterested team decides to pull the trigger.

Atlanta drafted McKinley in the first-round back in 2017, but he never lived up to that status. He had six and then seven sacks in his first two years in the league, but had only 3.5 last season. Through four games and limited playing time this season he only has one, although he’s had a very high pressure rate.

He was hoping to get traded, and accused the Falcons of turning down trade offers for him. After the trade deadline came and went he blasted the team on social media, leading to his release shortly thereafter. McKinley has plenty of talent, and at only 25 makes for a nice low-risk upside addition for teams in need of pass-rushing help. It’ll be interesting to see who jumps at the opportunity the second time around.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Claim DE Takk McKinley

The Bengals used their high waiver priority to bring in a former first-round defensive lineman. Recently cut Falcons edge rusher Takk McKinley will head to Cincinnati after the Bengals claimed him Wednesday.

McKinley will join a Bengals team that has been without defensive ends Sam Hubbard and Carlos Dunlap; the former is on IR and the latter is now a Seahawk. With the Falcons not exercising the 2017 first-rounder’s fifth-year option, McKinley’s rookie contract expires after the 2020 season.

The Falcons dropped McKinley after not finding a taker for him in a trade. The team fined the defensive end for comments he made regarding his trade status. McKinley has 17.5 career sacks; just one of those has come during the 2020 season. The UCLA product registered 13 sacks over his first two seasons but has just 4.5 since the 2019 campaign.

Atlanta sought a fourth-round pick for McKinley but held onto him at the deadline, despite McKinley tweeting the team received offers involving fifth- and/or sixth-round picks. The Falcons tried to unload Vic Beasley in similar fashion ahead of last year’s trade deadline but retained him, and Beasley produced down the stretch. The team has now dismantled its longtime pass-rushing duo, and McKinley will have a shot to rebound ahead of a possible free agency run in 2021.

Just one Bengal — fourth-year defensive end Carl Lawson — has registered more than one sack this season. Like McKinley, Lawson is in a contract year. Hubbard has also returned to practice this week and could be activated ahead of Cincinnati’s Week 10 game. The Bengals minimized Dunlap’s role and saw him become quite vocal about the demotion, leading to a trade. They will now take a flier on another player who went public about his standing with an organization.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Waive DE Takk McKinley

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.

Trade Notes: Packers, McKinley, Alexander

We heard earlier today that the Packers were eying Texans wideout Will Fuller, but there were reportedly disagreements among high-level Packers officials on whether they should make a play for a receiver. While head coach Matt LaFleur said he was unsure if “anything ever got that serious,” he was sure that he’s on the same page with general manager Brian Gutekunst.

“I have no idea where anything like that would ever come from,” LaFleur said of the reports (via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky). “We’re in constant communication, we’re on the same page and there is no truth to that. I promise you that.”

While receiver Davante Adams expressed confidence in his teammates, he previously acknowledged that he’d welcome some help at the position.

“I wouldn’t say we necessarily need to, because I think we’ve shown what we can do,” Adams said. “When I went down, guys stepped up and did what they had to do. Stepped up big. I wouldn’t say it’s a need. Obviously, I’ve said this before, I don’t think it’s any secret that could help us potentially. I wouldn’t be opposed to it. It could help us. But I definitely got full faith and trust in my guys here to be able to get it done.”

As Demovsky notes, the Packers could be getting some reinforcement at the position, as receiver Allen Lazard could return this weekend. The 24-year-old had eight catches for 146 yards and one score in Week 3, but he’s been sidelined since undergoing core muscle surgery.

Some more trade notes from around the NFL:

  • The Falcons were seeking a fourth-round pick for defensive end Takkarist McKinley, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (via Twitter). We heard last week that the former first-rounder was on the trade block, but the 25-year-old declared last night that he wasn’t going anywhere. McKinley has compiled only eight tackles and one sack in four games this season, and he hasn’t played more than 40-percent of his team’s defensive snaps since Week 1.
  • After acquiring defensive end Yannick Ngakoue in a preseason trade with the Jaguars, the Vikings traded the veteran to the Ravens back in October. ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes that the trade conditions from the conditional fifth-rounder that Minnesota sent Jacksonville still apply. That fifth-rounder will turn into a fourth-rounder if Ngakoue goes to the Pro Bowl (with the Ravens). It’s worth noting that the Vikings received a conditional fifth-rounder in their trade with Baltimore, and there’s a good chance that selection contains many of the same conditions.
  • The pick the Dolphins received in the Isaiah Ford trade with the Patriots is a conditional sixth-rounder, tweets Jeff Howe of The Athletic. Howe adds that the pick could turn into a seventh-rounder if the conditions aren’t met.
  • The conditional fifth-round pick that the Saints sent the 49ers in the Kwon Alexander trade has a bit more intrigue. The MMQB’s Albert Breer tweets that it’s a 2022 pick that’s heading to San Francisco, although that could turn into a 2021 selection based on “play-time markers.”
  • Cowboys receiver Michael Gallup was presumably never on the block, as VP Stephen Jones said last week that the organization wouldn’t be trading the 24-year-old (via The Athletic’s Jon Machota on Twitter). Following a breakout 2019 campaign, Gallup has disappointed a bit in 2020, hauling in 26 receptions for 432 yards and one score through eight games (seven starts).