The Atlanta Falcons are reportedly not exercising tight end Hayden Hurst’s fifth-year option, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
The Atlanta Falcons are not exercising the fifth-year option on tight end Hayden Hurst, per source. He’ll be a free agent in 2022.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) May 3, 2021
The Falcons traded with the Baltimore Ravens for Hurst last offseason. In his first season with Atlanta, Hurst posted a career-high 56 catches for 571 yards and six touchdowns and 88 targets.
Hurst, 27, will get $1.349 million fully guaranteed and a cap hit of $1,984,914. If the Falcons were to pick up his option. If the Falcons picked up his option, they would have paid Hurst $5.428 million in 2022.
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Falcons Draft Hurst’s Replacement
Atlanta not picking up Hurst’s option does not come by any surprise as the Falcons drafted Florida tight end, Kyle Pitts, at No. 4 overall in this year’s NFL draft.
The Falcons’ tight end depth chart currently looks like Kyle Pitts as the No. 1 option, Hayden Hurst at No. 2, and Lee Smith at No. 3.
The 6-foot-6 and 245 pound TE with 4.4 speed is a matchup nightmare that is bound to make an immediate impact in Atlanta.
Pitts is bringing versatility to Atlanta acting as a tight end or a wide receiver which is why he is considered to be the draft’s “unicorn.” It also helps that Smith is a fan of running an offense with two tight ends, so between him and Hayden Hurst, Ryan will have a dream team to work with.
“He’s kind of like a unicorn, and the only way you can defend a unicorn is with another unicorn,” Gators head coach Dan Mullen said. “So if you don’t have a unicorn on defense, you got a problem.”
Pitts will also be joining Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and new backfield addition, Mike Davis.
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