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Takkarist McKinley waived by Bengals after failed physical

The former first-round pick had enough time to grab a cup of coffee with the Bengals.

Atlanta Falcons v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Things fell apart quickly with Takkarist McKinley and the Atlanta Falcons. Coming into the 2020 season with new booked Dante Fowler and additional inside help thanks to Marlon Davidson, many were expecting this to be McKinley’s season. He showed some serious ability to rack up sacks in his first two years but did not do much, thanks in part to injuries, in his third season.

Cut to another slew of injuries, another Twitter tirade, a team-imposed fine, then finally the team officially washing their hands of McKinley, the pass rusher’s chance to show out in 2020 had to come on another team.

The Cincinnati Bengals, along with three other teams, put in waiver claims on McKinley. Bengals fans were excited: McKinley did have early-career success and could look better in a new location (the latter part rarely occurs in the NFL). However, McKinley’s time with the Bengals is over before it started.

In retrospect (and also at the time), McKinley’s public complaints about the team seemed most likely to only hurt McKinley. The odds of McKinley healing up, getting used to a new team, earning snaps, and outperforming his last few seasons seemed quite unlikely considering it was mid-November.

With McKinley still injured, he seems unlikely to be claimed again by another team. He is not under contract in 2021, meaning an interested team would need to claim McKinley with the hope of getting a good feel for a player in need of a new contract. His best hope may be to latch on with a playoff contender that could use McKinley as a situational pass rusher later into the season and the post-season.

So far, McKinley has only succeeded in costing himself lots of cash in 2021.