CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from Jan. 20, 2021.
Entering free agency this offseason, the Cleveland Browns were linked to several of the top pass-rushers on the market. And while they have yet to land one of the biggest names, they won't walk away empty-handed, agreeing to terms with Takkarist McKinley on a one-year contract that could be worth up to $4 million, according to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports.
Selected out of UCLA by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, McKinely has appeared in 49 games (25 starts) through the first four years of his NFL career. In that span, he's battled both injuries and inconsistencies, totaling 17.5 career sacks -- 13 of which were recorded in his first two years in the league.
Last year, the 25-year-old McKinley appeared in just four games of the Falcons' nine games before being released after publically asking for a trade. He was later claimed off of waivers by the Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers, each of whom he failed physicals with, before landing with the Las Vegas Raiders, who he never appeared in a game for before hitting free agency.
Despite his recent struggles and lack of a professional track record, the 6-foot-2, 265-pound McKinley will likely serve as a high upside option for Cleveland to line up opposite All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett. In 2019, he ranked as Pro Football Focus' No. 53 edge rusher. He marks the Browns' second defensive signing this offseason after Cleveland reportedly agreed to terms with former Los Angeles Rams safety John Johnson III on Monday.