The Atlanta Falcons have made the decision on Roddy White, as they released the 11-year veteran Wednesday afternoon.
White was not a big part of the offense under new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan last season. He caught only 43 passes for 506 yards, his lowest numbers since the second year of his career. White had caught 80 passes for 921 yards in 2014.
White is Atlanta’s all-time leading receiver with 10,863 yards on 808 catches and 63 touchdowns. He has served as a mentor to Julio Jones, who obviously has become Atlanta’s feature receiver the last few seasons.
The Falcons drafted White out of UAB in the first round of the 2005 draft. It took a couple of seasons, but in his third year White took off with 1,202 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
Atlanta will reportedly save $2.36 million in cap space for 2016 and even more ($6.39) in 2017. This gives the Falcons even more financial flexibility to not only add help at receiver but the other positions that are in need of strengthening, as well.
Justin Hardy should assume a larger role on the team. He was a rookie in 2015 and had 21 catches for 194 yards. Tight end Jacob Tamme was the second-leading receiver on the Falcons last season with 657 yards. Running back Devonta Freeman was third with 578 receiving yards.
Leonard Hankerson, who was signed to replace Harry Douglas, did not last the season and had 26 catches for 327 yards. So the Falcons will likely be looking for two new receivers. One free agent that has been mentioned is Cincinnati’s Mohamed Sanu, who turns 27 this August and had 394 yards last year.
White could land in Tennessee, where Terry Robiskie is now the offensive coordinator for the Titans. Robiskie was White’s wide receiver coach in Atlanta. Also, Tampa Bay could be an option as Dirk Koetter is now the head coach. Koetter was White’s offensive coordinator in Atlanta under Mike Smith, who is now Koetter’s defensive coordinator with the Bucs.
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