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Atlanta Falcons decline fifth-year option on DE Takk McKinley

Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley (98) is scheduled to earn about $1.9 million this season. File Photo by Art Foxall/UPI
Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley (98) is scheduled to earn about $1.9 million this season. File Photo by Art Foxall/UPI | License Photo

April 29 (UPI) -- The Atlanta Falcons declined to pick up defensive end Takk McKinley's fifth-year option, the team announced Wednesday.

The Falcons said in a statement that they are taking a "wait-and-see approach in terms of future contracts."

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"We have decided to not move forward with a fifth-year option for Takk and at this time are taking a wait-and-see approach in terms of future contracts," the team said. "Takk has shown the ability to produce at a high level and we look forward to his production in 2020."

McKinley, the No. 26 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft out of UCLA, now will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 campaign. According to Spotrac, he is scheduled to earn about $1.9 million this season.

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League sources told ESPN that McKinley's fifth-year option was worth more than $10 million.

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn previously said at the NFL Combine that the team wouldn't pick up McKinley's option. But when Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff said the club was still evaluating the move, Quinn held off on announcing a final decision.

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McKinley's play has been inconsistent in three seasons with the Falcons. The 24-year-old defensive lineman recorded only 3.5 sacks last season after tallying 13 total sacks in his first two seasons.

McKinley, who had off-season shoulder surgery, has 71 total tackles, 16.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass defensed in 45 career games.

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