Falcons pass on Hayden Hurst’s $5.4 million fifth-year option

Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst caught a career-best 56 passes for 571 yards in 2020. Hurst will be a free agent after 2021 season

While the Falcons picked up wide receiver Calvin Ridley’s fifth-year option, the team has elected to pass on the $5.4 million fifth-year option for tight end Hayden Hurst, according to his agent Hadley Engelhard.

After selecting former Florida tight end Kyle Pitts with the fourth overall pick in the draft, the Falcons will allow Hurst to become an unrestricted free agent in 2022.

Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot elected not to answer a question about Hurst’s status on Wednesday.

Ridley was selected with the 26th overall pick in the 2018 draft — one spot after Hurst. Ridley’s fifth-year is worth $11.116 million.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft, recently had his $18.8 million fifth-year option picked up.

Ridley caught 90 of 143 targets (62.9%) last season for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns as the Falcons went 4-12.

Ridley has caught 217 passes for 3,061 yards and 26 touchdowns.

He was named to the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie team in 2018.

Hurst, whom the Falcons sent a second-round pick to Baltimore to acquire last season, was a favorite of former general manager Thomas Dimitroff.

He caught a career-best 56 passes for 571 yards and six touchdowns last season with the Falcons.

In 2020, the Falcons declined to pick up the $10.3 million fifth-year option for defensive end Takk McKinley. He was released in the middle of the season after requesting a trade on social media.

AJC’S POSITION-BY-POSITION NFL DRAFT SERIES

QUARTERBACKS: How far will Justin Fields drop in draft? | Top 10 QBs

RUNNING BACKS: Plenty of prospects to pick from | Top 10 RBs

WIDE RECEIVERS: Draft deep with talent | Top 10 WRs

TIGHT ENDS: Ability to create mismatches is key | Top 10 TEs

OFFENSIVE TACKLES: A ‘nasty’ bunch | Top 10 OTs

OFFENSIVE GUARDS/CENTERS: The men in the middle | Top 10 C/OGs

END RUSHERS: Pass on this draft stock | Top 10 DEs

DEFENSIVE TACKLES: One star among lackluster block | Top 10 DTs

LINEBACKERS: Deep class for position | Top 10 LBs

CORNERBACKS: Plethora of options for first two rounds | Top 10 CBs

SAFETIES: Falcons likely will add position player | Top 10 Safeties

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