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Falcons talking trades for Takk McKinley, will hold him out against Panthers

The McKinley era will end with the kind of trade the Falcons weren’t able to complete for Vic Beasley last year, evidently.

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The Falcons didn’t figure to be major sellers at the deadline. After firing Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff, the team largely promised to keep things the same for the next regime to have full reign to sort through their options with the roster. As we’ve discussed, trading Matt Ryan and Julio Jones will not be traded due to huge dead money hits if they’re moved, which only leaves a handful of players who would have expiring contracts and would command any kind of return.

Takk McKinley is one of them. The veteran pass rusher’s deal will be up after 2020 with the team electing not to pick up his fifth year option, a decision made both because Takk hasn’t been a hugely productive sack artist and because he’s dealt with injuries throughout his career, with a splash of Vic Beasley’s disappointing fifth year hanging over the proceedings. Takk has been hurt a lot this year, too, and hasn’t yet been able to make a persuasive case on the field for his next big deal, even if he’s looked good in his limited snaps.

That’s why it’s not particularly surprising that Takk is reportedly going to be on the move before the trade deadline, with the team holding him out of Thursday night’s game against the Panthers to avoid any further injuries.

It’s disappointing that it will end this way for Takk, a player I thought was better than his final stats in Atlanta would indicate. When healthy, he was good at getting pressure on quarterbacks and solid all-around, and there’s no question if he’s healthy later this season he can be impactful as a rotational pass rusher for a contender. I have no idea what kind of return to expect for what’s essentially a half season rental, but it’s unlikely to be higher than a 5th round pick, and it might not even be that.

Any picks help, though, and the Falcons will be able to give the next regime one more selection instead of nothing for a player who is almost certainly headed elsewhere in 2021 regardless. The Falcons will be looking at a pretty bare cupboard at defensive end next season, a disappointing outcome given that they spent first round picks on Beasley and Takk, and getting capable pass rushers at the position will be one of the biggest priorities for the next GM. The team could also look at moving Todd Gurley and Alex Mack, two players on expiring deals who don’t figure to return next year, but Takk appears to be the focus. We’ll see if they get a deal done.

For what it’s worth, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jason Butt is reporting the Falcons aren’t satisfied with the offers they’re getting and may not move him.

Wherever he goes, we wish Takk well and hope he finds more success at his next stop.