The Falcons have opted to decline defensive end Takkarist McKinley’s fifth-year option, per himself on Twitter:
The writing has been on the wall for Takk ever since the infamous press conference At the Combine, where it seemed Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff were not on the same page when it came to his future with the team. Dimitroff said it was up in the air, and Quinn said it would be declined in the same presser. Quinn later backtracked on such comments. I’m sure the front office is not crazy about his antics on social media, but that has been far from the problem. McKinley has not lived up to his billing as a first-round pick to date. He had one of the highest pressure rates in 2018, which many believed could suggest a 2019 breakout, but he saw a dropoff in production and posted just 3.5 sacks.
The Falcons could have maintained flexibility and picked up McKinley’s option with the ability to rescind it down the road, barring injury, but this decision shows they are ready to move on and not take that risk. McKinley would have been due about $10.1 million in 2021 had the team picked up his option.