Falcons fine Takk McKinley after social-media outburst

The Falcons fined defensive end Takk McKinley an undisclosed amount of money after he criticized the franchise via social media, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

On Wednesday, McKinley falsely claimed on his personal Twitter account that the Falcons declined two deals involving him, including one that would have returned a second-rounder after he requested a trade in 2019. Multiple people familiar with the Falcons' personnel decisions over the past two seasons said no proposals of that nature took place. Although the Falcons spoke with other teams about McKinley before Tuesday’s deadline, the compensation never reached an acceptable amount to make a potential trade.

After McKinley sent his tweet, which concluded with three clown emojis, Falcons interim coach Raheem Morris said the fourth-year defensive end was handling the situation immaturely and that he would be held accountable for his actions.

“The wrong way to go about is definitely the way Takk is handling it now with a pout,” Morris said Wednesday. "So, as soon as we get an opportunity to talk to him about those things, and how he’s handling that situation, that will be the first and foremost thing you handle first. Then you figure out getting him healthy as far as his groin and then you figure out if he’s even going to be on the team, if that’s even possible at this point.

“We’ll move forward and we’ll move forward swiftly and we’ll move on accordingly, but right now, the one thing I do know is he won’t be able to help us for the Denver Broncos (on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium).”

McKinley did not practice Thursday for the second consecutive day and won’t play this weekend as he continues to deal with a lingering groin injury. After what coaches determined to be a solid offseason and training camp, followed by a strong performance in the opener against the Seattle Seahawks, McKinley injured his groin in the first half of the Falcons' loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Since, the injury has been a burden as he’s appeared in only four total games this season.

McKinley, taken in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft, has posted only one sack this season, which came on the first defensive play from scrimmage against the Seahawks. Although McKinley isn’t practicing because of injury at the moment, Morris did not rule out a possible suspension. However, it is unlikely the Falcons would cut McKinley as that would deny the team the opportunity to receive a 2022 compensatory pick if he signs with another club in free agency.

“There’s always an option to suspend and there’s always an option just not to play,” Morris said. “There’s always an option for us to do everything we do. I know a lot of his money is guaranteed, but we’ll obviously talk to (team president) Rich (McKay) about that and go through that whole process. Obviously, we’ll talk to Takk and get that thing done because we’re not going to sit here and talk about that through the papers or through media or however you want to do it. That’s a grown-man conversation with another grown man.”

In Other News