The New England Patriots‘ front seven needs talent, experience, and bodies. That explains the team being linked and mentioned in association with new free agent Takkarist McKinley.
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Takk Was Released By the Atlanta Falcons
Late last week, McKinley was released by the Atlanta Falcons. The 25-year-old 2017 first-round pick had become disgruntled after watching his playing time dip. He’d asked for a trade, and the Falcons reportedly turned down offers for his services.
McKinley took to Twitter to voice his displeasure in the Falcons’ reluctance to move him.
This tweet wasn’t received well and instead of trading him, the Falcons released McKinley. Once he clears waivers, he will be an unrestricted free agent who can sign with any team.
Shortly After His Release, Takk Was Being Mentioned In Connection With New England
McKinley is still seen as a player with a notable upside. The 6’2″ 265-pound edge defender had 13 sacks in his first two seasons, but he’s seen that total and pace fall off over the past 1.5 seasons.
McKinley had 3.5 sacks in 2019 and just one this season in limited opportunities. Reportedly, the Patriots really liked McKinley coming out of UCLA back in 2017, but New England had already traded away their pick in the first round, the 32nd overall, for Brandin Cooks.
With a potential second chance, many are expecting the Patriots to show some interest.
Despite the Win on Monday Night, the Patriots Could Use Takk
The Patriots came up with a much-needed win over the New York Jets on Monday night, but it was clear, New England’s pass rush could use a spark. McKinley isn’t TJ Watt or Khalil Mack off the edge, but you could make the argument he’d provide an instant upgrade over what the Patriots currently have available.
On Monday night, Joe Flacco had all day to throw the ball on most passing downs. Against even better offensive lines and quarterbacks, the Patriots will find themselves in a world of trouble. It can’t hurt to give McKinley a look.