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Report: Falcons' Vic Beasley Jr. on Trade Block; Will Be Free Agent After Season

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorOctober 18, 2019

Atlanta Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley (44) during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons are scuffling through a 1-5 season in which they've allowed the NFL's second-most points per game, and now one of their players has reportedly been put on the trading block.

Per ESPN's Jordan Schultz, defensive end Vic Beasley Jr. is available prior to the Oct. 29 deadline. He is a free agent after this season.

Beasley had a league-high 15.5 sacks and six forced fumbles during his second NFL campaign in 2016, helping the Falcons make the Super Bowl. The eighth overall pick of the 2015 draft earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors that year.

However, Beasley has amassed just 11.5 sacks since, including 1.5 this season.

A hamstring injury forced him off the field for two games in 2017, and he played outside linebacker as well as defensive end. Beasley's sack total dipped to five that year.

He played all 16 games in 2018, but the production was lacking as he finished the season with five sacks again.

"My production is not what I want, but I'm working hard," Beasley told Orlando D. Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in November 2018. "I'm practicing hard and playing hard."

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Ledbetter offered more reasoning on why Beasley's production dipped, noting the ex-Clemson Tiger's need to develop a countermove in addition to his speed rushes.

Falcons defensive line coach Bryant Young told Ledbetter: "A guy like him, a 4.5 [40-yard dash] guy who can really get off the spot and speed around the edge, it would be great to have something that's a changeup. That's been his go-to, his off-the-edge speed and winning off the corner. That always keeps people honest when you can change it up a little bit."

Tim Weaver of Falcons Wire offered his take.

"On film, Beasley's speed is still allowing him to get pressure on quarterbacks. He's just had a difficult time of closing the deal and actually securing the tackle. Sack numbers can be notoriously fickle like that, but Beasley's cold streak has extended way too long to be part of any natural regression. In fact, the front office's decision to pick up Beasley's fifth-year option back in April is starting to look like a questionable move."

Atlanta's inconsistent defensive leadership can't be helping.

The Falcons have had three different defensive coordinators in the past four seasons: Richard Smith was let go after 2016, and Marquand Manuel was the defensive coordinator in 2017 and 2018. Head coach Dan Quinn is now leading that side of the ball.

Perhaps a change of scenery would benefit Beasley. In the meantime, he and the Falcons will work on turning their season around. They face the Los Angeles Rams at home on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

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