Bengals claim ex-Falcons draft bust Takk McKinley off waivers

Jason Owens
·2-min read

Takk McKinley didn’t live up to his first-round draft pick pedigree with the Atlanta Falcons. But he has more upside than the average player found on NFL waivers, and the Cincinnati Bengals were happy to scoop him up Wednesday.

The Bengals announced that they made a successful waiver claim for the former disgruntled Falcons pass rusher, whom the team released in the aftermath of last week’s NFL trade deadline.

The Bengals had a void on their defensive line thanks to their own broken relationship with 10-year veteran Carlos Dunlap, whom they traded to the Seattle Seahawks in October after he publicly complained about his role and offered his Cincinnati house for sale on Twitter.

Takkarist McKinley #98 of the Atlanta Falcons watches on in the second half on an NFL game against the Carolina Panthers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 8, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Takk McKinley reportedly received multiple waiver claims after Atlanta released him. (Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

McKinley’s rocky exit from Atlanta

McKinley, 25, made multiple Twitter posts before and after the trade deadline complaining about the Falcons not trading him. The Falcons fined McKinley for his social media outbursts, and interim head coach Raheem Morris vowed that he would face accountability.

“We’ll move forward, and we’ll move forward swiftly, and we’ll move on accordingly,” Morris said last Wednesday.

The Falcons released McKinley on Monday.

Multiple NFL teams reportedly made claim for McKinley

Atlanta selected McKinley with the 26th pick in the 2017 NFL draft from UCLA hoping he would become a disruptive force in backfields. The edge rusher tallied 17.5 career sacks and 22 tackles for loss in 49 games, including 25 starts.

The Falcons declined to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract last offseason.

McKinley has been hampered by a lingering groin injury this season. It’s unclear when he’ll be available to play for the Bengals.

The Las Vegas Raiders, Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers were reportedly among the teams that also put in a waiver claim for McKinley. At 2-5-1, the Bengals had the worst record of the group and higher waiver priority.

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