Roddy White: Future with Atlanta Falcons in Question?


In 2005, the Atlanta Falcons selected Roddy White with the 27th overall pick. A decade later, could his days in Atlanta be numbered?

The Atlanta Falcons drafted Roddy White out of the University of Alabama-Birmingham in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. White started eight games in his rookie season, accumulating 446 yards on 29 receptions while adding three touchdowns. White followed his rookie campaign with a disappointing sophomore season. White started only five games and did not record a score during the 2006 season.

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After Roddy White’s 2006 season, he turned a corner and started his dominance as one of the NFL’s best receivers. In 2007, White registered his first 1000 yard season and reached the end zone six times. From 2007-2012, White reached the 1000 receiving yard threshold each season. During that stretch, White earned four Pro Bowl selections; moreover, White received First-Team All-Pro honors in 2010.

In 2010, Roddy White set career-highs in both receptions (115) and receiving yards (1389). That season, White led the NFL in receptions, earning his third (of four) Pro Bowl selection and his only First-Team All-Pro honor. After the 2012 season, White’s production began to taper off. The 2013 season marked the first season that Roddy White did not play in every game of the season, registering 13 games played during that season. Also, White saw his receiving yards nearly cut in half in just one year’s time, falling from 1351 in 2012 to 711 in 2013.

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Roddy White regained his form in 2014, but once again, he failed to reach 1000 receiving yards. Also, injuries limited White to playing in 14 games. White played in every game from 2005-2012; however, from 2013-2014, White struggled to stay healthy. The Atlanta Falcons fired Mike Smith after a disappointing 2014 season, and the team brought in former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

In addition to the Falcons hiring Dan Quinn, the team went out and hired Kyle Shanahan as the team’s offensive coordinator. Shanahan implemented a run-first approach with the Atlanta Falcons, and Roddy White’s production suffered so far because of it. Through the first six games of the 2015 season, White registered a very disappointing 138 yards off of 11 receptions. Also, Matt Ryan only targeted White 21 times this season (less than four targets per game).

A couple weeks ago, Roddy White expressed his concerns with the amount of targets he received in Shanahan’s offense, fueling speculation of a potential trade on the horizon. After news broke of White’s concerns, the media ran with the story. Also, it did not help that the Falcons dismissed White from practice the following week, furthering the idea of a potential trade in the future.

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Over the last week, news broke that three or more teams are interested in acquiring Roddy White. As the trade deadline approaches, expect more talks to ensue over the veteran wide receiver. With Leonard Hankerson emerging as Matt Ryan’s second-favorite target this season, White becomes an expendable option. However, White is due $5 million over the course of this season, so that makes him a difficult sell to most teams. Likely, the Falcons do not want to eat any of White’s remaining contract; thus, only a team desperate for a wide receiver will inquire.

Roddy White proclaims that he wants to remain an Atlanta Falcon for life, but his diminishing value and expensive contract will likely keep that from being a real possibility. Several teams have interest in White, and with the deadline set for November 3rd, expect teams in the playoff hunt that are in need of a wide receiver to come knocking the Atlanta Falcons’ way. Roddy White is a great player; however, he looks to be an expendable receiver on the Falcons. Thus, the Falcons should trade him before his value hits the floor.

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