Takkarist McKinley won’t debut for the Cincinnati Bengals this fall after all.
It’s yet another interesting twist to a saga involving a first-round pick from the 2017 NFL Draft who hasn’t lived up to expectations since the summer of 2019. McKinley missed multiple games this season because of a lingering groin injury and hasn’t recorded a stat since Atlanta lost to the Detroit Lions on Oct. 25.
He then made headlines when he tweeted about his trade requests both before and after the deadline. Falcons interim coach Raheem Morris promised those social-media posts wouldn’t go unpunished, and the club reportedly fined McKinley an undisclosed amount.
The 26th selection from the 2017 draft recorded 13 sacks across his first two seasons but has since managed only 4.5 quarterback takedowns, one of which came this year before he and the Falcons parted ways. Atlanta previously declined the fifth-year option on McKinley’s contract.
He’s now free to sign with a different club if he can pass a physical down the road.