Ex-Falcons Pass Rusher Visits Cowboys, Cardinals

Falcons

Getty Ex-Falcons DE Takkarist McKinley No. 98.

Former Atlanta Falcons defensive end and current free agent, Takk McKinley, is scheduled to visit with the Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday, August 2, according to a report from Cleveland Browns insider Brad Stainbrook.

McKinley previously met with the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday, July, 30.

No offer was made and it sounds like an offer won’t be made at all.

“Following a positive visit, Cowboys won’t be signing ex-Falcons edge defender Takk McKinley at this time, two people familiar with situation said. Nothing to be read into — this was original plan. McKinley intended to take multiple visits, and he will. The Cardinals are up next,” Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweeted on July 30.

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Jones Confirms McKinley is Healthy

After McKinley’s time in Atlanta ended, along with two failed physicals with the Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers, he signed a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns in March of 2021.

McKinley fit nicely in the Browns rotation behind Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett and he was en route to bouncing back from an ongoing groin injury when he was injured again in Week 15––this time, tearing his Achilles. He was placed on season-ending injured reserve in December and finished the season with 18 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble through 11 games.

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones was asked about his visit with McKinley and he had nothing but positive things to say.

“I had a good visit with him [on Saturday],” Jones told reporters, via Cowboys writer Patrick Walker. “He’s certainly got a chance to play this year. We’ve evaluated that as far as his Achilles, and we’ll see where we go from here.”

McKinley came into the visit as no stranger to the Cowboys coaching staff after playing under  Dan Quinn in Atlanta for three seasons.

“We had him in for the (official) 30 (pre-draft visit), loved him coming out,” Jones said. “(Former Cowboys defensive coordinator) Rod (Marinelli) was a huge fan, and we were too, of the way he plays the game — play temperament, play style. And then of course the obvious: Dan coached him. We’ve got a lot of inside knowledge there, too. You can’t have enough guys who can rush the passer.”


McKinley Secretly Wanted Out of Atlanta

Leading up to the 2021 NFL trade deadline on November 3, rumors were swirling around McKinley, which included that the Falcons reportedly had offers to deal the former first-round pick but didn’t jump at any. We found this out from Takk himself, who tweeted the update on his personal account about 24 hours ahead of the league’s deadline.

“The Atlanta Falcons aren’t trading me. They declined a handful of offers,” McKinley tweeted on November 2, 2020.

He kept on with more tweets, referencing the organization as “clowns” for not trading him when they were allegedly offered a second-round draft pick in return in 2019. The fourth-year pass rusher also shared that Atlanta had allegedly turned down a fifth and sixth-round pick in exchange for him.

At the time, interim head coach Raheem Morris considered suspending McKinley for his actions but decided to fine him an undisclosed amount instead, just a few days before letting him go.

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