Falcons Finally Decide on DE Takk McKinley’s Fifth-Year Option

Takk McKinley

Takkarist McKinley of UCLA reacts after being picked #26 overall by the Atlanta Falcons in 2017.

The Atlanta Falcons have come to the conclusion that they won’t be picking up defensive end Takk McKinley‘s fifth-year option.

The former first-rounder, McKinley actually first reported the news himself…

This must mean he’s okay with it?

Here’s what the Falcons said in their official statement:

“We have decided to not move forward with a fifth-year option for Takk and at this time are taking a wait-and-see approach in terms of future contracts. Takk has shown the ability to produce at a high level and we look forward to his production in 2020.’’

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McKinley Must Prove Himself

McKinley has become known as a competitor over his three years in the league. He’s consistently pressuring the quarterback, but can’t always seem to finish the job. This is what has been a problem for the Falcons and one they addressed in free agency when they picked up Dante Fowler. McKinley will really need to prove himself if he wants to stay in the league, especially Atlanta.

As a Falcon, McKinley has played in a total of 45 games and made 21 starts. He has 16.5 sacks, including a high of 7.0 in 2018. He tried to play through his shoulder injury and finished with 3.5 sacks before have to step off the field and get surgery. This will be his third shoulder injury.

In order to sign him to a one year contract, the Falcons would really need McKinley to recover not 50% or even 99%, but 100% from his shoulder surgery and come back on top. The team has high hopes that new defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi could turn McKinley back around into a sack leader.

McKinley had a $3.25 million cap hit this year and was worth over $10 million. Since his option wasn’t picked up, the 2020 season will be the end of his rookie contract.

Teams will have until the end of day May 5 to exercise fifth-year options for players selected in the first round of the 2017 draft.

Falcons Draft Monster DT to Improve Pass Rush

Aside from picking up Fowler, the Falcons drafted monster defensive tackle, Marlon Davidson in the second round to improve the pass rush.

The four-year starter recorded 12.5 tackles for loss and was the team’s sack leader with 7.5 along with 48 tackles and two fumbles in his last year at Auburn.

Davidson is already considered a fan favorite.

“I instill confidence. I instill passion. I instill heart,” Davidson said. “I instill everything you want in a football player as a man and everything. That’s me. I mean, I wake up every day thinking about being the best. I woke up at four o’clock this morning and couldn’t go to sleep because I was mad because I didn’t go first round. I’m waking up at four o’clock. I ain’t been asleep all day, man. I’ve been waiting on this call and I got it and now I’m going to give everything I can to the organization. I’m going to give everything I possibly can and leave everything on the field, every game, and show that they did not mess up by picking Marlon Davidson at all; they didn’t.”

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