If we remember from my ‘grading the draft picks’ piece, I have to say I don’t agree with Takkarist McKinley’s fifth-year option being declined by the Atlanta Falcons, though, I do get it.
5th year declined— Takkarist McKinley (@Takk) April 29, 2020
You want more out of your first-round picks, sure.
Still, McKinley has been able to record 122 total QB pressures in his three seasons to date including back-to-back eight-sack seasons to start. He also represented a sure tackler, missing just 12 career tackles over those three seasons.
I think there were moments that showcased why he was a first-rounder but apparently the Falcons don’t seem to see it that way. McKinley will be able to get a fresh start with a new franchise after the 2020 season as he’ll take part in an aptly-named contract year this fall as he attempts to prove the Falcons wrong while playing in hopes of earning a lucrative contract in 2021’s free agency.
McKinley had two sacks against Carolina last season in what was certainly his best performance to date and though he only had four sacks all of last year, he still got to the quarterback for a career-high 10 QB hits.
It’s a business and the Falcons have always been quick to move on decisions they’re not sold on, so it’s at least understandable.
Good luck this year, and good luck at your next stop, Takk!