Falcons Waive Former XFL, Lions TE

Khari Lee

Getty Khari Lee #86 of the Detroit Lions.

The Atlanta Falcons headed into training camp with more than enough tight ends. Now, things are becoming less crowded at the TE position.

On Thursday, the Falcons announced that they have waived former XFL tight end, Khari Lee, with an injury settlement.

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Lee’s NFL Career

Lee came to Atlanta after spending time in the new XFL league. Before the league was canceled due to the coronavirus, Lee had eight receptions for 91 yards and two touchdowns for the DC Defenders in 2020.

Once the league canceled, players were allowed to sign contracts with NFL teams.

Prior to the XFL, he spent time in the NFL, playing for four different teams. In 2015, the Houston Texans picked him up as an undrafted free agent out of Bowie State. He also spent some time with the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, and Buffalo Bills.

Lee Has A Plan B

The 6-foot-4, 255-pound TE has always had a dream of playing in the NFL and when he thought it was the end of his football career after the Bills released him, he went into real estate.

“I liked selling real estate,” Lee told the Washington Times earlier this year. “But it’s a different life when you have a regular day-to-day job. I don’t think you can ever fully be prepared for life without football until you know you are done. And I wasn’t done. I’ve been playing football since I was seven years old.”

Lee knew he wasn’t done when the WWE icon, Vince McMahon, announced the return of the XFL.

Unfortunately, the league shut down for the remainder of the season just two months in. Lee’s dream came to a halt until the Falcons picked him up after their attention with an outstanding few weeks in the XFL.

Hopefully, Lee can return to the practice squad in no time once his injury subsides. Until then, it looks like he’ll be focusing on his real estate.

Falcons Remaining Tight Ends

The Falcons are left with Hayden Hurst, Jaeden Graham, Luke Stocker, and Jared Pinkney at the tight end position.

In two NFL season, Hurst has caught a total of 43 passes for 512 yards and three touchdowns. Last season with the Ravens, he was targeted 39 times and caught 30 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns. Hurst earned a 72.4 grade from Pro Football Focus in 2019 that landed him at No. 14 amongst all NFL tight ends.

Graham played in 16 games last season with nine receptions for 149 yards and one touchdown and six special teams tackles. He recorded his first career catch, a 21-yard reception in the second quarter that led to a 29-yard field goal against the Cards. On top of that, he had his first touchdown, 18-yards in Week 13. On the same night, he finished with four receptions for 41 yards.

Stocker re-signed with Atlanta just a few weeks ago. The NFL veteran played in 15 games and made nine starts during his first season as a Falcon. He also caught eight passes for 53 yards.

Pinkney, a 2020 undrafted free agent, didn’t produce the best stats last season due to poor coaching decisions and useless QB, so we’ll focus on the season prior. In 2018, Pinkney balled out as a junior snagging 50 receptions for 775 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 15.5 yards per catch. Vandy was led by Kyle Shurmur that season who passed for 3,130 yards with a 62.6 percent completion rate.

The Falcons have a fine TE depth, but now the question is if Atlanta will keep all four?

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