Roddy White, the all-time leading wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons, was released by the franchise on Wednesday, with two years left on his contract.
White was slated to earn $4.25 million in 2016 with a salary-cap figure of $6.1 million. After previously stating that he had no desire to take a pay cut, the Falcons were forced to make the decision. In a text message to ESPN, White revealed that he “wants to play in the NFL for another year or two.”
Last season, there were question marks about White’s future with the team after his diminished role under new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. The 34-year-old, currently out of the country, relayed this message to the Falcons fanbase: “I love them. I enjoyed. And it was fun.” However, he refused to discuss the exact details of his release.
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Dan Quinn, the Falcons coach, revealed that the team never approached the wide receiver about working out a new contract. “We communicated by text but I’m looking forward to talking to him in person. He’s somebody I have a good relationship with, although our professional one is not continuing. Based on where he was, we could not communicate (via phone) today,” said Quinn.
Roddy White: ‘A man of tremendous character’
Arthur Blank, the Falcons owner, thanked White for his contributions to the franchise. “Roddy is one of the greatest players to ever put on a Falcons uniform, and even more importantly, he is a man of tremendous character that I and my entire family have profound personal affection and respect for.”
Between 2007 and 2014, White averaged 88.25 catches and 1,175.63 yards per season as the primary option or playing second fiddle to Julio Jones. However, last season, White was the team’s fourth-leadng receiver, catching 43 passes for 506 yards and the solitary TD on 67 targets.
Roddy White, a former four-time Pro Bowler, might find it difficult to make the starting unit for a contender. However, he can still bring locker room leadership to a team looking to take the next step.