With all of the talk and focus on Cleveland Browns free agent defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, there is another Browns free agent DE who also signed a one-year deal in 2021.
He is Takkarist McKinley.
McKinley came to Cleveland to revive his career after a disappointing 2020 in Atlanta.
He played well and seemed to be getting even better as the season progressed.
Takk McKinley had what was probably his best game as a Brown on Sunday. He finished with 8 total pressures including 1 sack, 2 hits, and 5 hurries. That kind of production while spelling Clowney and Garrett is crucial for a playoff run. #Browns pic.twitter.com/9YMU3VZU3c
— Jacob Roach (@roachizm13) December 14, 2021
Through 11 games in 2021, he had 10 solo tackles, 8 quarterback hits, 3 tackles for a loss, and 2.5 sacks.
Should the Browns re-sign McKinley for 2022?
McKinley’s Injury Setback
His biggest problem is the torn Achilles he suffered in late December.
Takk McKinley tore his Achilles, out for season. pic.twitter.com/skxFEbPi29
— Cleveland Sports Talk (@CLEsportsTalk) December 21, 2021
That injury puts his 2022 season in jeopardy.
There have been no updates since shortly after the injury was confirmed to be a torn Achilles.
No news is not good news in this scenario so the inclination would be to not re-sign McKinley.
Grant Delpit suffered the same injury in the 2020 preseason, and he missed his entire rookie season.
Congrats to Grant Delpit for being voted the #Browns 2021 Ed Block Courage Award winner by his teammates. So crazy hard to come back strong from a torn Achilles, and he’s done it!
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) December 7, 2021
The flip side is Cam Akers who miraculously was able to bounce back from a torn Achilles on July 20, 2021, and return in time for the Rams Week 18 regular-season finale on January 9, 2022.
That was less than 6 months of recovery time for Akers which is practically unheard of.
If I'm every NBA trainer, I'm calling the Rams doctors, trainers and strength staff iASAP to find out exactly what RB Cam Akers did to not only return from a torn Achilles in less than 6 months and be able to perform at this level.
— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) January 18, 2022
Professional athletes normally need between 9 and 12 months to get back to their pre-injury condition.
Assuming McKinley is on the traditional timeline, his recovery would be completed between September and December.
That timeframe encompasses the majority of the NFL regular season.
Because the Browns cannot anticipate when McKinley will be recovered, they will have to look elsewhere for defensive end support for the 2022 roster.
With Clowney’s future with the Browns up in the air also, they will need to look at free agency or the draft to fill this role.
At least one mock draft, by Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network, has the Browns selecting a DE with their No. 13 overall pick.
He is Purdue’s George Karlaftis.
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah @MoveTheSticks has the #Browns drafting Purdue DE George Karlaftis at #13 in his latest mock draft 👀. pic.twitter.com/QNHq8Oeyzv
— Feeling Dangerous Podcast (@FDPodcastCLE) February 22, 2022
If there is positive news regarding McKinley’s recovery over the next couple of months, this situation should be revisited.
McKinley played well and could be a very affordable option in 2022.
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