The Atlanta Falcons announced Monday that they have waived former first-round pick Takk McKinley.
McKinley has been dealing with a groin injury since Week 2, which has prevented him from playing in several games this season, including Atlanta’s 34-27 victory against the Denver Broncos in Week 9.
In the four games McKinley has played this season, he has recorded just eight tackles, one tackle for a loss and seven hits on the quarterback. McKinley started 25 games for the Falcons in his four seasons with the organization. He will finish his time in Atlanta with 79 tackles, 22 tackles for a loss, 17.5 sacks and 45 hits on the quarterback.
The defensive end also recently publicly criticized the Falcons on Twitter following the trade deadline, claiming he had requested to be traded to another team. After McKinley made the comments, interim head coach Raheem Morris said the team would hold him accountable.
Atlanta did not pick up McKinley’s fifth-year option prior to the season, setting up 2020 to be an important year for the Falcons’ 26th-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. In part due to the groin injury, this season has been far from the one McKinley needed after he showed up to training camp looking to be in the best shape of his career.