The Atlanta Falcons are not picking up the fifth year contract on tight end Hayden Hurst’s contract per multiple reports.
Hurst was the NFL’s 2020 Alan Page Community Award Winner for his work with mental health and depression awareness. He is making roughly $2M for the 2021 season and was due an increase to $5.4M if the Falcons had picked up his option year.
By declining the option, Hurst will be an unrestricted free agent in 2022. This doesn’t mean the Falcons can’t bring him back; it just means they aren’t obligated to pay him $5.4M in 2022.
Atlanta used a second round pick in 2020 to acquire Hurst from the Baltimore Ravens. The third year pro had his most productive season with 56 catches for 571 yards and six touchdowns.
Hurst was made expendable as the No. 1 tight end when Kyle Pitts was selected with the No. 4 pick in the NFL Draft. Pitts was ranked the best tight end prospect in history by some draft analysts.
Arthur Smith’s offense uses a lot of two tight end packages, so Hurst should get ample opportunity to increase his value this season.