Falcons waive disgruntled former 1st-round pick McKinley
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons on Monday waived defensive end Takk McKinley, a 2017 first-round pick, less than one week after he made public his displeasure he had not been traded.
McKinley battled groin injuries this season and missed five of the Falcons’ first nine games, including Sunday’s 34-27 win over Denver.
The Falcons’ release of McKinley was not a surprise. Interim coach Raheem Morris said Wednesday McKinley’s status with the team was uncertain after McKinley posted on his Twitter account that he requested trades in 2019 and again this year.
McKinley said the Falcons turned down an offer for a second-round pick in 2019. He also said “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.”
Morris said last week he planned to discuss McKinley’s status with Falcons President Rich McKay, who assumed control of football operations after coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff were fired following an 0-5 start.
Morris said last week he needed to determine if McKinley “can even be on this team, if that’s even possible at this point. We’ll move forward and we’ll move forward swiftly.”
McKinley’s release came as the Falcons began their bye week. The Falcons (3-6) have won three of four games under Morris.
The release of McKinley comes after the team did not pick up the defensive end’s fifth-year option before the season.
McKinley had a combined 13 sacks in his first two seasons. He appeared determined to make the Falcons regret not picking up his option when he started strong this season.
He had a sack and four tackles in this season’s opening loss to Seattle. Morris said McKinley also was playing well the following week against Dallas before suffering the groin injury.
McKinley had 79 total tackles with 17 1-2 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 45 quarterback hits in four seasons.
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