Former Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley will not be joining the Cincinnati Bengals after being claimed off of waivers earlier this month. On Tuesday, the team announced that McKinley had been released after failing a physical, and will be heading back to waivers. "Takk" recorded just eight combined tackles and one sack in four games for the Falcons this season, and was released after what turned into a public falling out with the franchise.
According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the Las Vegas Raiders, Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers put claims in for McKinley at the time he was awarded to the Bengals. It will be interesting to see if one of those teams or another tries again now that he is a free agent after registering a failed physical. Cincinnati was in the market for some pass-rushing help after sending long-time pass rusher Carlos Dunlap to the Seattle Seahawks around the trade deadline.
McKinley made it clear last season that he wanted a change of scenery, and he was hoping to find it before the trade deadline earlier this month. However, the Falcons failed to find a trade partner, and McKinley took to social media to claim that the organization was turning down what he felt were viable offers.
"These Falcons turned down a second-round draft pick when I requested to get traded last year," McKinley wrote on Twitter. "The same Falcons turned down a fifth- and a sixth-round draft pick from multiple teams when I requested to get traded this year. I only have 17.5 career sacks."
The reason why McKinley failed his physical was not made public immediately, but he had been dealing with a groin injury since Week 2 -- which caused him to miss several games this season. McKinley was originally selected with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, and recorded 79 combined tackles and 17.5 sacks in 49 career games with the Falcons.