It’s rare for an NFL team to win twice in back-to-back days. However, after another victory in the Raheem Morris era, pushing the Falcons interim coach to 3-1 on the season, Atlanta made a bold decision that I would consider the right one by releasing former first-round pick, Takk McKinley.
McKinley has actually been better than his sack numbers suggest. He was consistently the best Falcons edge rusher when it came to pressuring the quarterback. Unfortunately, that’s only led to 17.5 sacks over his three-plus-year career. McKinley has become the king of the ‘almost sack,’ but pressures are oftentimes equally important, so he was still one of the more valuable players on the Falcons defense.
For that reason, Atlanta was hoping to trade McKinley before the deadline, holding him out Thursday night against the Panthers. He probably wouldn’t have played anyway because of a groin injury, but the Falcons didn’t want to take any chances. Atlanta was reportedly looking for a fourth-round pick for McKinley, an offer they obviously never received. His groin injury that has cost him five games this season is probably a significant reason, but his attitude made him virtually untradable. Here’s what he tweeted just before the trade deadline.
The @AtlantaFalcons aren’t trading me. They have declined a handful of offers.
— Takkarist McKinley (@Takk) November 2, 2020
If that wasn’t enough, he doubled down on his statement later, calling the Falcons organization a bunch of clowns and also dissing himself in the process.
These @AtlantaFalcons turned down a 2nd round draft pick when I requested to get traded last year.
The same @AtlantaFalcons turned down a 5th and 6th round draft pick from multiple teams when I requested to get traded this year. I only have 17.5 career sacks.
— Takkarist McKinley (@Takk) November 4, 2020
Raheem Morris did the right thing, immediately acknowledging it and had a man-to-man conversation with McKinley. Apparently, that didn’t get through to the former first-round pick, however, as he was soon acting a fool on Instagram live — almost like he was begging to get cut.
Well, ask, and you shall receive. The Falcons officially did the deed today. While this could prevent them from receiving a compensatory pick, I’m not sure how many teams will be interested in handing him very much money this offseason, especially considering his recent actions. I still think McKinley — the player — has a lot of potential to make an impact over his career, but he won’t get very many more chances if he continues to act a fool.