The Atlanta Falcons are not expected to use the franchise tag on safety Keanu Neal, according to a report by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. NFL teams have until 4 p.m. ET today to use the franchise tag if they choose to do so.
Neal, 25, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins on March 17.
When healthy and on the field, the former first-round pick has made an impact and been one of the best at his position. Neal's 2018-19 seasons were riddled with season-ending injuries, but he bounced back in a big way last year. During his five-year stint with the Falcons, Neal logged 338 tackles, 15 for loss, eight forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, four quarterback hits and two interceptions.
The safety position could be one that looks drastically different for the Falcons in the upcoming season given Ricardo Allen was released recently and Damontae Kazee is also scheduled to become a free agent.