The Las Vegas Raiders made a clever decision on defensive end Takk McKinley several weeks ago, but in the end, it did not work out for the team.
On Wednesday, Raiders coach Jon Gruden said the pass rusher will not be able to play Sunday in the season finale at the Denver Broncos. A couple of weeks ago, the Raiders began the process of getting McKinley back from a groin injury, but he is simply not ready to play.
It’s been quite a journey for the former first-round pick since the Atlanta Falcons waived him last month. He was claimed by the Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns and the Raiders. He was awarded to the Bengals based on them having the worst record of the claiming teams. However, McKinley failed his physical and he was waived again. The other three teams claimed him again and the 49ers were rewarded the Bay Area native. Yet, he failed that physical as well.
The Raiders and Browns claimed McKinley again and he went to the Raiders, who put him on the injured reserve. Gruden said he expected McKinley to be ready to play this season, but the never happened. So, the Raiders are on the hook for the end of McKinley’s 2020 salary.
McKinley will be a free agent this offseason. Perhaps the Raiders will have a head start in re-signing him since he spent time with them. But the fact that he was so popular on waivers will likely prompt McKinley to test the open market in free agency to drive up his price tag.
Also, Gruden said defensive end David Irving, who is on the practice squad, won’t play on Sunday either. He has played two games with the Raiders so far.