Falcons news: Takk McKinley has fifth-year option declined
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REPORT: Takk McKinley has fifth-year option declined by Falcons

Falcons, Takk McKinley

Atlanta Falcons pass-rusher Takk McKinley will now become an unrestricted free agent in 2021 after the team opted to decline his fifth-year option, per ESPN’s Vaughn McClure.

McKinley, the 26th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft out of UCLA, has spent the last three seasons in Atlanta as a major contributor to the team’s pass rush. Last season, the 24-year-old outside linebacker/defensive end started 13 games for Atlanta and recorded a career-high 29 tackles, 13 QB hits, seven tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks.

While McKinley did produce a career-high in tackles in 2019, his sack production dipped after he recorded 13 total sacks in his first two seasons combined

The former first-round pick is set to make $1.8 million in 2020 and is missing out on $10 million with the Falcons declining his fifth-year option.

In a statement, Atlanta said they are “taking a wait-and-see approach in terms of future contracts.” However, they did note that “Takk has shown the ability to produce at a high level” sand that they are looking forward to his production in 2020.

The move to decline Takk McKinley’s fifth-year option is not much of a surprise, as Falcons head coach Dan Quinn already publicly stated that the team would not pick up his option during the NFL combine. Still, General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and the rest of the front office still had to consider the move.

In the recent NFL Draft, the Falcons selected Auburn D-lineman Marlon Davidson in the second round and Fresno State linebacker Mykal Walker in round number four — both of whom will likely have the chance to contribute in the near future if McKinley’s pass-rush production is lost.