This Starter Won't Be Back With the Falcons in 2021

James Conner, Takkarist McKinley, De'Vondre Campbell
Atlanta Falcons DL Takkarist McKinley | Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons are a team with a great deal of uncertainty. Despite having an extremely talented roster, they weren't able to put it together last year and ended up with a disappointing 7-9 record. Moving forward, they'll have to make some changes in order to compete in one of the toughest divisions in the entire league.

Those moves have already begun this offseason, but what about after 2020?

When the Falcons selected defensive end Takkarist McKinley in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, they were hoping that the combination of him and Vic Beasley Jr. would dominate the NFC South for years to come.

Things haven't exactly gone to plan. Beasley fell off following his outstanding All-Pro sophomore season in 2016, when he led the league in sacks with 15.5 and forced fumbles with six. Since then, Beasley has a total of 18 sacks in the three following seasons. Not bad, but certainly not what Falcons fans were expecting following 2016. As a result, the team let Beasley walk in free agency after 2019.

On top of that, McKinley has underperformed ever since being drafted. In 45 career games, McKinley has only totaled 16.5 sacks, which eventually led the Falcons to decline his fifth-year option this offseason. Unless McKinley has a big year in 2020, it's unlikely the team brings him back at all. With the addition of Dante Fowler Jr., it seems like Dan Quinn may not have too much trust in him following a 2019 season with only 3.5 sacks.

At this point, Falcons fans would be surprised to see Takk McKinley to return to Atlanta in 2021. His fate will likely be similar to Beasley's this offseason.