It was back in February when Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff said that the team intended to exercise its option on Vic Beasley’s contract for the 2019 season and the team got around to making it official on Wednesday.
The move comes ahead of the May 3 deadline for teams to pick up their options, guaranteed for injury only, on the first-round picks from the 2015 draft. Beasley was the eighth overall pick by the Falcons that year.
Beasley had four sacks as a rookie and then busted out with 15.5 in 2016 as the Falcons made a run to the Super Bowl. The team shifted his responsibilities to more of a traditional linebacker during the 2017 season and he dropped back to five sacks, which likely helped convince the team to switch gears and have Beasley focused on coming after quarterbacks again this season.
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If Gettleman passes on Barkley and takes one of the quarterbacks, he’ll hurt the short-term success of the team and will be rolling the dice that whomever he selects truly will replace Manning.
Every one of the top quarterbacks in this draft has warts significant enough that it’s possible none becomes a Super Bowl-winning quarterback or even a long-term starter.
USC’s Sam Darnold threw 22 interceptions and fumbled 21 times (losing 14 of them) in 27 collegiate games. That’s as bright a red flag as you can have entering the NFL, where turnovers decide outcomes more than any other element of the game.