Falcons pick up option on former Clemson DE


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(USA TODAY Sports-Kim Klement)
(USA TODAY Sports-Kim Klement)

The Atlanta Falcons announced Wednesday that they have picked up the fifth-year option on former Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley's rookie contract.

Over three seasons, the All-American defender has totaled 24.5 sacks with nine forced fumbles, one interception and one defensive TD in 36 starts.

He was selected with the No. 8 pick in the 2015 draft and led the NFL with 15.5 sacks in 2016.

Beasley played both linebacker and defensive end last season, but he will stay in one spot in 2018-19.

"For a stretch there, we felt the best thing for us to do would be play him in both roles – at [linebacker] and at the nickel defensive end,” Falcons head coach Dan Quinn told reporters at the NFL combine, where it was initially confirmed the option would be picked up. “We’re just going to go back to what he does best. At the time, we needed to use him in that role, but we’ll feature him as a defensive end all the time in 2018.”

He will be under contract through the 2019 season in Atlanta after signing a $14.5 million rookie contract.

Beasley totaled 52.5 tackles for loss (33 sacks) in 1,421 snaps as a Clemson Tiger, where he earned first-team All-America honors as a junior and a senior.

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