Vic Beasley, Falcons to Part Ways in 2020 Free Agency; ATL Won't Pursue Contract

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2020

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 22:  Vic Beasley Jr. #44 of the Atlanta Falcons reacts after sacking Gardner Minshew II #15 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 22, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons will not attempt to retain defensive end Vic Beasley Jr. in free agency this summer, general manager Thomas Dimitroff announced Monday.

"As we continue to craft our 2020 roster, we'd like to thank Vic for five years of effort on behalf of our organization," Dimitroff said in a statement.

Beasley, 27, spent five seasons in Atlanta after the team selected him in the first round of the 2015 draft. He recorded 42 tackles and eight sacks in 2019, leading the Falcons in the latter category.

Atlanta reportedly explored dealing Beasley before the trade deadline in October. While he's still in his physical prime, his inconsistency has been a source of frustration. He led the NFL in sacks (15.5) in 2016, making the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro First Team. He has not reached double-digit sacks since, and that breakout appears to be an anomaly.

Beasley addressed criticism of his play in an interview with ESPN's Vaughn McClure in December:

"For me, I've always just been able to keep tunnel vision. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. You always have some people talking about you in a good way, some people talking about you in a negative way. But as long as you continue to challenge yourself and believe in yourself, I feel like you can achieve those things that you want to achieve."

He shouldn't struggle to find interested teams that will hope he can recapture the potential he found in 2016. Most would settle for the production he put up in 2019—especially his stretch of four sacks in three games in December.

The Falcons will likely target a pass-rusher early in the draft, perhaps with their first-round selection at No. 16 overall. LSU's K'Lavon Chaisson could be a name to watch in the middle of Round 1.