The Falcons announed Monday they will not seek to re-sign defensive end/linebacker Vic Beasley, the eighth overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft
Beasley will be allowed to become a free agent when the new league season starts on March 18.
“As we continue to craft our 2020 roster, we’d like to thank Vic for five years of effort on behalf of our organization,” general manager Thomas Dimitroff said in statement released by the team.
After playing his rookie season with a torn labrum, Beasley had 15.5 sacks during his second season as he helped the Falcons reach Super Bowl 51. After teams adjusted to his speed rushes, Beasley was slow to add counter moves. He was held to five sacks in 2017 and 2018.
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In 2019, Beasley started to embrace using more than just his speed and was moved around from the left to the right side. He finished with eight sacks.
“It’s been up and down for me,” Beasley said at the end of season locker cleanout. “I wish my numbers would have been where I wanted them to be, but I can still continue to improve. I’ve got a lot of areas to work on. I’m excited. I’m at peace. I’m going to continue to work.”
Beasley planned to take a laid back approach about his future.
“We’ll see when the time comes, you know what I’m saying,” Beasley said. “Right now, I’m going to enjoy this offseason and take it a day at a time.”
This is the first of several pressing personnel decisions by the Falcons this offseason. At the Senior Bowl, Dimitroff said the team would start making decisions after Super Bowl LIV.
The team has to make personnel decisions on tight end Austin Hooper and linebacker De’Vondre Campbell before the new NFL business year begins.
“I don’t know if we can get them all back,” Dimitroff said in Mobile, Ala., during the Senior Bowl.
In the past, Falcons owner Arthur Blank has tabbed certain players — Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Grady Jarrett — as “Falcons for life.”
He didn’t use that term when asked about Hooper at the Super Bowl last week.
“I spoke with Thomas the other day,” Blank told the AJC on Wednesday in Miami. “All of the players that are free agents that we have, we’ve been in touch with all of their agents. (We’ve) had discussions with all of their agents. We said that post-Super Bowl we’ll lock down on this and end up making serious decisions about a number of these players. We’ll see where we end up on (Hooper).”
Dimitroff said the negotiations with Hooper were “trudging along” at the Senior Bowl. The team maybe balking at market value, $10 million a year deal, for tight end, who’s a two-time alternate Pro Bowler.
One thing is clear, the team has decided to move forward without Beasley.
“I thought Vic had a nice push down the stretch, and I know that he impressed a lot of people within the organization,” Dimitroff said at the Senior Bowl. “Of course, it was tough early on.”
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