49ers awarded former Falcons DE Takk McKinley on waivers
Takkarist McKinley has a new home, and it isn’t far from his hometown.
The Oakland native was claimed off waivers by the San Francisco 49ers, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source. The Niners later announced McKinley is available to join the team pending the completion of COVID-19 protocols and the passing of a physical.
The former first-round pick was claimed by the Bengals last week, just two days after the Falcons waived him, but was soon released after failing his physical. Rapoport reported that the 49ers will have to assess his groin and see when he can play, but they are good with where he stands physically.
After being on the trade block and staying put, McKinley revealed via Twitter he’d requested to be dealt last year and this one and that the Falcons turned down a variety of offers for his services, including a second-round pick in 2019. Atlanta, which NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported sought a fourth-rounder for McKinley in 2020, ultimately cut its top selection from the 2017 draft.
His lack of production over the past 15 months was likely the primary reason. McKinley has just 4.5 sacks since the beginning of last season. He’s been limited to just four games this season because of a groin injury and illness.
Niners coach Kyle Shanahan said he would put in a claim for the fourth-year lineman, and it resulted in his acquisition. The two didn’t cross paths in Atlanta, having missed each other by mere months. McKinley, who showed real promise in his first two seasons (13 sacks amid eight starts), now has a golden opportunity to help a defense that’s been decimated by injuries while also serving his own cause as he prepares to hit free agency.
San Francisco also announced it has added rookie defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw to the reserve/Covid-19 list, two days after Arik Armstead was placed on it.
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