Bengals Claim DE Takk McKinley After He Was Released by Falcons

Takkarist McKinley with Atlanta Falcons in 2018. Photo by Jevone Moore/CSM/Shutterstock

Defensive end Takk McKinley didn’t get to hit the open market and choose the team of his liking after being released by Atlanta Falcons earlier this week. Instead, McKinley swapped one losing situation for another since he was claimed off waiver by Cincinnati Bengals on Wednesday.  

Falcons released McKinley, who was their first-round pick in 2017 after the player publicly called out the organization for refusing to trade him. The 26-year-old player played just four games for Atlanta in 2020, managing one sack and seven QB hits.

Multiple teams reportedly attempted to take Mckinley, including Las Vegas Raiders and San Francisco 49ers. However, the Bengals, who are boosting the worst record of the bunch, had waivers priority.

This move should help Cincinnati fill the void on their defense that was left by Carlos Dunlap, who forced a trade to Seattle Seahawks earlier this month. For Takk McKinley, however, this means he missed out on playing for a playoff contender and has to be content with suiting up for another losing franchise.

Despite this, McKinley will most likely be motivated to play his best football for the remainder of the season. He’ll be a free agent in March and needs to show more f he wants to land a good contract.

McKinley’s career stats include 17.5 sacks, 79 tackles, and 45 QB hits.