The first major domino to fall in the Falcons’ 2020 offseason is apparently free agent EDGE Vic Beasley. On Monday, Atlanta’s official Twitter account announced that the team would not be re-signing Beasley for the 2020 season and beyond.
BREAKING NEWS: We will not pursue negotiations with Vic Beasley this offseason. https://t.co/AWbxv1SiGi— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) February 3, 2020
Beasley is likely to draw significant interest on the free agent market after finishing the 2019 season with with 8.0 sacks, 8 TFL, 42 total tackles and 2 forced fumbles. Like the rest of the team, Beasley had an awful first half of the season but followed it up with a relatively productive second half. Many fans and analysts predicted that Atlanta would choose to cut Beasley in 2019 due to his $12.8M fifth-year option after a lackluster 2018 season, but the Falcons decided to give him one more chance to prove himself instead.
Beasley, a 2015 first-round pick of the Falcons—and the first pick of Dan Quinn’s tenure—played a total of five seasons in Atlanta. He amassed 37.5 sacks, 36 TFL, 11 forced fumbles, and 156 total tackles over his career—including a league-leading 15.5 sacks in his epic 2016 campaign. Unfortunately, Beasley never managed to build on that breakout year, with mediocre pressure and sack numbers in each of his other seasons.
The Falcons could be in line to net a significant compensatory pick for Beasley in 2021, depending on the size and length of his new contract. It could be as high as a third-round pick, but is probably more likely to fall into the fourth-round range when all is said and done. It seems likely that Atlanta is reserving their free agent dollars for someone else instead, which I hope is TE Austin Hooper.
Despite things not working out long-term with Beasley, we’ll always fondly remember his key contributions to that magical 2016 season. We wish Beasley luck in his future endeavors.