"I wanted my hair back, so I probably would have went to about $3,000," McKinley said. "That was it for me."
McKinley's lost dreadlock became a national headline when an unidentified man found it at Ford Field after the Falcons' 30-26 triumph over the Detroit Lions. The eBay user then auctioned off the dreadlock, and McKinley played along with the bidding via Twitter, re-tweeting the initial post and then providing updates on what bids were made.
Eventually, the folks at eBay removed the item and stopped the bidding, apparently with no actual takers.
"I honestly thought I was going to buy it for like $20," McKinley said. "When I saw it was $1 and $5 shipping, I was like, 'Man, that don't make no sense.' Then I tweeted about it, and it went to $50. Then $100. And then I'm like, 'What the heck is going on?' Then it got to the thousands. Then $5,000.
"The final [price] was like $11,000. And I was like, 'You know what? Nobody's going to outbid me. I'm getting my hair back.' I thought about it. But once it got to $11,000, I was like, 'Man, y'all can have that hair.'"
A message to eBay's media relations office, seeking confirmation about the authenticity of the dreadlock auction and the reason why the item was pulled from the website, was not immediately returned Monday afternoon. It's unclear what the unidentified man did with the dreadlock.
On Monday, McKinley leaned over and showed the spot on the back of his head where the hair was missing and explained how it fell out.
"Honestly, I knew it was kind of loose," McKinley said. "And I knew if I didn't get my hair done, one day it was just going to fall out. And it just fell out. Some lady in L.A. does my hair, and I haven't gotten it done, man, since July."
McKinley wasn't surprised by how the whole ordeal became a hit on social media. Remember, McKinley shut down all his social media and his phone at the beginning of the season to focus on football, only to reverse course after a 15-day hiatus.
"It's entertainment," he said. "We got a few followers off of it and everything. For me, it's just making people laugh, like I always do."