The Falcons are learning valuable lessons but not through the easy way. Only two years ago, the Falcons turned down trade offers for struggling first-round pass rusher Vic Beasley despite his lack of performance and the playoff opportunity almost non-existent. The Falcons shocked many by then retaining Beasley under the fifth-year option. The results were predictable, with the Falcons then trying and failing to trade Beasley under his prohibitively-expensive contract.
In an almost unprecedented move, the Falcons announced they would not bring back Beasley.
Takkarist McKinley, most popular among the Falcons fanbase for not being TJ Watt, has struggled for reasons completely different than Beasley. The Falcons decided to not exercise McKinley’s fifth-year option, a move that reportedly motivated McKinley. However, he again has struggled with both injury and effectiveness, notching only one sack at the halfway mark of the season.
Per Adam Schefter, the Falcons would like to be done with the failed pick. His update is notably short of notables, as McKinley has little to show for his years of starting at defensive end.
The Atlanta Falcons are interested in trading defensive end Takkarist McKinley, a former first-round draft pick.
McKinley has only 17.5 sacks in 49 games, with only 4.5 sacks since the start of the 2019 season. Those numbers could be considered acceptable if McKinley was impactful against the run. He has gained a reputation for getting plenty of pressures and “almost sacks,” but has shown no signs of improving at converting those pressures into quarterback takedowns.
The bigger question is determining what is McKinley’s value. My guess is it is very low. Despite three-and-one-half years in the league, McKinley remains a project who can realistically not be relied upon to start in 2020. His health remains another big question.
Why trade for McKinley now when a team can sign him in the offseason without forking over draft picks? Rich McKay would be lucky to more than a late-round draft pick. Regardless, this is almost certainly the last of McKinley’s time with the Falcons.