The Falcons won’t pick up the fifth-year option on the contract of Hurst, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com.
A first-round pick of the Ravens in 2018, the Falcons traded for Hurst in 2020. Atlanta gave up a second-round pick and a fifth-round pick for Hurst and a fourth-round selection.
The Ravens selected running back J.K. Dobbins with the second-round pick from Atlanta.
In Hurst’s first year with the Falcons, he had 88 targets, 56 catches, 571 yards, and six touchdowns. All were career highs.
With the Falcons investing the fourth overall pick on tight end Kyle Pitts, however, the Falcons clearly weren’t interested in guaranteeing the full 2022 salary for Hurst, which would have been only $5.4 million. He’ll make $1.984 million in 2021, and he’ll become a free agent in 2022 (unless he signs a new contract with the Falcons before then).
Hurst has become an outspoken advocate for mental health. He admitted in 2020 that he attempted suicide while in college. His willingness to embrace the issue and to openly discuss it helps to eliminate the stigma, and to encourage others who need help to seek it. Wherever he plays, he’s someone we should all root for.