Vic Beasley's Contract Option Reportedly Will Be Picked Up by Falcons

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2018

Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Vic Beasley (44) works against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff told reporters Wednesday he will pick up the fifth-year option in linebacker Vic Beasley Jr.'s contract.

Beasley, who is set to enter his fourth NFL season, is a one-time Pro Bowler and one-time first-team All-Pro.

The 25-year-old Beasley is coming off a down year after turning in a dominant 2016 campaign.

In 2016, Beasley set career highs with 39 tackles, an NFL-leading 15.5 sacks and six forced fumbles. His consistent pressure was a driving force in helping the Falcons reach the Super Bowl.

Last season, Beasley finished with 29 tackles, 5.0 sacks and one forced fumble in 14 games.

The Falcons selected Beasley with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft after a standout collegiate career at Clemson as a pass-rusher.

Beasley was third on the team in sacks last season behind Adrian Clayborn (9.5) and Takkarist McKinley (6.0).

Clayborn is set to hit free agency, as is defensive tackle Dontari Poe, so Beasley will be key to the front seven's success in the coming years.

Much of the focus when it comes to the Falcons lands on their high-powered offense that features quarterback Matt Ryan, running back Devonta Freeman and wide receiver Julio Jones.

Atlanta has a young, talented and fast defense, though. A rebound from Beasley in 2018 and beyond may be the biggest factor in helping the Falcons get back to the Super Bowl.

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