Falcons news: Atlanta declines Takkarist McKinley's 5th-year option
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Falcons do not pick up Takkarist McKinley’s 5th-year option

Falcons, Takkarist McKinley

The Atlanta Falcons have experienced some significant turnover to their roster this offseason. It remains to be seen whether or not defensive end Takkarist McKinley will be part of their long-term plans.

McKinley recently took to Twitter to break the news himself that the Falcons have declined the fifth-year option on his rookie deal:

McKinley’s post seems to indicate that he has begrudgingly accepted the fact that he will be entering a contract year in Atlanta. Although he wasted no time in providing a reaction to the news, it will be interesting to see how he responds in the 2020 NFL season.

Atlanta took McKinley with the 26th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. The former UCLA product had no problem showing off his promise early on and kicked things up a notch during the 2018 campaign by registering 22 combined tackles and a team-high seven sacks.

Unfortunately, he struggled to find his footing in the 2019 season, with 29 tackles and 3.5 sacks to his name until a shoulder injury he suffered in Week 15 landed him on Injured Reserve. As a result, it seems the Falcons are opting to take a patient approach by making this a prove-it year for the former first-round pick.

McKinley may be trying to put on an optimistic front for what the future holds outside of Atlanta. However, he will still need to put together a breakout year next season if he hopes to receive a lucrative contract extension from any team once he becomes a free agent after the 2020 campaign is over.