With the 2014 NFL Draft in the rear view mirror, the Atlanta Falcons can officially look forward to actual football (!), but before things kick off in September, the team could have an interesting choice to make with regard to star wide receiver Roddy White. The 32-year-old White is heading into the final year of his contract with a $5 million salary (and a cap hit over over $6 million), and there is a published report that anticipates the two sides working on a contract extension before the start of the year.
Vaughn McClure of ESPN sheds some light:
Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said he would revisit contract extensions after free agency and the NFL draft.
Well, the free-agency frenzy and draft have concluded.
Dimitroff and the Falcons can now address unfinished business regarding some of their veterans. One player who immediately comes to mind is receiver Roddy White, who anticipated receiving an extension after the draft, not anytime sooner.
Because any extension would almost certainly lower White’s cap hit (as noted by McClure), this proposed deal does make some sense, but at the same time, there is some potential for disaster. Perhaps White’s greatest attribute in his career has been his consistency, with six consecutive seasons of 80+ catches and 1,150+ yards prior to last season, but with his ever-increasing age and Julio Jones on the verge of demanding huge money, it could be a danger zone.
The argument for extending White this off-season would be that he may take a small discount, especially in the wake of his injury-plagued 2013 season (13 games, 63 catches, 711 yards), but he fails to do so, the Falcons may be better off letting him reach free agency and potentially going in a different direction for 2015 and beyond. Roddy White has been an integral part of this franchise’s resurgence, but in the NFL, age doesn’t wide receivers well, and we will likely know just how much he has in the tank very soon.
Provided that any extension is a reasonable one money-wise, you won’t hear an argument against it in this space, but if Thomas Dimitroff and company elect to “let it ride” with regard to White’s contract, that would also make a great deal of sense.