Vic Beasley was given a gift by the Falcons when they exercised his fifth-year option (worth $12.8 million). This even though he has performed well below the expectations of the No. 8 pick in the 2015 draft.
With the promise that Falcons’ head coach Dan Quinn will be hands-on with Beasley, one could say the two are tied at the hip.
Quinn and Falcons’ general manager Thomas Dimitroff are on the hot seat. If Quinn does not work out as the defensive coordinator in 2019, both will be looking for a new job at season’s end. Both know it, the players know it, the fans know it, and Arthur Blank knows it.
And Beasley is well aware this is the last opportunity he has to restore the value he’s lost. But low and behold, guess who’s missing from OTAs? That’s right, Beasley is among those who aren’t at the voluntary workouts. Out of all of the players on the team to skip OTAs, this is the one who could least afford to miss that time, and it is not something that should be overlooked.
Beasley’s stats in his four-year NFL career speak for itself. He had one good year (2016), with the rest being very disappointing. In fact, the 2016 playoffs were a dud for Beasley as well, proving many correct who were already calling his regular season a fluke. The Clemson product failed to register a sack, recording two combined tackles and two passes defended in three games.
Year Total Tackles Sacks PFF Ranking (pass rush productivity)
2015 26 4.0 37
2016 39 15.5 35
2017 29 5.0 88
2018 20 5.0 103
Now, before you point out the obvious, I understand that other players are missing OTAs as well. Julio Jones and Grady Jarrett are notable absences, but both are also looking for contract extensions. Plus, Jones showed us last year that even with the time he missed, he didn’t miss a step on the field.
While the workouts are voluntary, for a player like Beasley to miss the valuable time with Quinn shows a lot. The Falcons head coach can give all of the coach-speak he wants, but everyone knows that the Falcons primary edge rusher should be working with the team every opportunity he has.
Time will tell if whatever Beasley is doing besides showing up for voluntary workouts will help him turn it around. If he doesn’t, Quinn will be looking for a new job next offseason. While the offense will be much improved, the Falcons didn’t address their pass rush in the draft. So, it’s up to Beasley, Adrian Clayborn, Takk McKinley, and Grady Jarrett, among others, to get the job done. The offense may score in bunches, but without pressure, the defense is going to get carved up as well. Remind me if you’ve seen that story before with the Falcons.