Falcons first-round bust Takkarist McKinley declares himself off trade market ahead of NFL deadline

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Takkarist McKinley claims he’s not going anywhere.

The fourth-year Atlanta Falcons defensive end has been the subject of trade rumors ahead of Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline.

On Monday, he declared the Falcons aren’t dealing him. In fact, they’ve turned down several offers to keep him on the roster. That is, according to McKinley.

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Does McKinley know something we don’t?

That’s not generally how this works. Barring a no-trade clause in a contract, who does and doesn’t get traded is up to teams, not players. McKinley does not have a no-trade clause.

Did the Falcons give him a heads up that they’re not going to deal him? McKinley certainly doesn’t broach the realm of untouchable for the Falcons, who would be wise to keep the door open to reasonable trade offers.

The Falcons declined to pick up the fifth-year option on McKinley’s rookie contract, so they’re not enamored with the former first-round pick.

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 15: Takkarist McKinley #98 of the Atlanta Falcons looks on from the sidelines against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game at Levi's Stadium on December 15, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Have the Falcons really shut the door on dealing a middling pass rusher in the midst of a lost season? (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Atlanta selected McKinley out of UCLA with the No. 27 pick in the 2017 draft with the hopes the athletic edge rusher could become an anchor on the defensive line disrupting opposing backfields. That hasn’t happened.

Now in his fourth season, McKinley has tallied 17.5 career sacks and 22 tackles for loss — serviceable production that doesn’t match his first-round pedigree.

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