ATLANTA — Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takk McKinley may have jeopardized his future with the team by using social media to complain about not being traded.
McKinley, a first-round draft pick out of UCLA in 2017, posted Wednesday on his Twitter account that he requested trades last year and this year. He said the Falcons turned down an offer for a second-round pick in 2019.
Wrote McKinley: "The same AtlantaFalcons turned down a 5th and 6th round draft pick from multiple teams when I requested to get traded this year. I only have 17.5 career sacks."
The Falcons did not pick up McKinley's fifth-year option for 2021 before this season, and now there is no certainty he will complete the year in Atlanta.
On Wednesday, interim coach Raheem Morris ruled out McKinley for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos because of a groin injury. It will be the fifth game he has missed this season, including last Thursday night's road win against the Carolina Panthers, after being slowed by shoulder injuries the past two years.
McKinley had a combined 13 sacks in his first two NFL seasons, but a lack of production and frequent injuries the past two years could have contributed to his frustrations and request to be traded.
Morris said he couldn't confirm McKinley approached the team with trade requests "because the requested trade never came to me directly." The coach also said trades are difficult to complete.
"The wrong way to go about it is definitely the way Takk is handling it now, to pout," Morris said, adding he planned to talk with McKinley "as soon as I get an opportunity."
Morris said he also planned to discuss the situation with team president Rich McKay, who is in charge of football operations after general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn were fired on Oct. 11 after an 0-5 start.
"Then you figure out if he can even be on this team, if that's even possible at this point," Morris said. "We'll move forward, and we'll move forward swiftly."
Morris said McKinley showed a lack of maturity in his complaint.
"I don't know if it's being disgruntled with being on the team," Morris said. "I think it's just immaturity, and right now it's an immature way to act about the organization."
After the Falcons declined McKinley's option, he seemed determine to prove the move was a mistake. Morris said he believed McKinley "did a great job of training and getting his body in the best possible shape to come back this year and absolutely tear it up."
Added Morris: "I know his mind was right. ... You could see it. He looked different. He looked like a different person. He looked like he was in better shape. He looked like he was ready to go."
McKinley had a sack and four tackles in the season-opening loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Morris said McKinley also was playing well the following week against the Dallas Cowboys before injuring his groin.
"Then he just started to have those troubles again when he had to sit out and was not able to play," Morris said. "Part of his issues is when he's not playing football. When he's playing football and playing at a high level, he's a great person to be around. When he's in this mode right now where he doesn't want to talk and shies away from personal interactions and contact, that's a problem."
Also Wednesday, wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who has a team-leading 43 catches (including six for touchdowns) was held out with a left foot injury. Morris said Ridley received "some pretty exciting results" from his doctor.
"We'll see how it goes and how he can progress during the week," Morris said, "but it's on the up and up."