On Wednesday, Falcons release wide receiver Roddy White.
He had two years left on his contract, which was not counting this move.
“It would be a tragedy if I had to leave,” he told The Atlanta Journal-Consitution’s Jeff Schultz last week.
White was ready to make a base salary of $2.75 million in 2016 and $3 million in 2017. This release saved the Falcons $2.45 million against their salary cap, but GM Thomas Dimitroff said his contract wasn’t an issue.
As he heads into free agency, the Falcons are set to have $33 million under the $155.27 million salary cap.
Dan Quinn thinks that he can still play and it wouldn’t surprise him if he reunited with former offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and head coach Mike Smith in Tampa Bay.
“Anytime you go through the process, you have to expect that, knowing somebody’s history with a certain player,” Quinn said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Roddy ends up on another club just south on I-75. If that happens, it happens not just with our club but other clubs.”
White will be known as one of the franchise’s greatest players. He will definitely be added to the team’s Ring of Honor.
“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,” said Arthur Blank. “I have developed a special relationship with him over the years.”
Roddy was selected in the 2005 NFL draft to the Falcons in the first round from Alabama-Birmingham. After a bad start to his career, he developed into the franchise’s most abundant receiver during the league’s evolution into more of a passing league.
White, who is 34, had 808 catches, 10,863 yards, and 63 touchdowns over his 11 seasons with the Falcons.
Quinn said the team was still considering White’s move when he spoke at the NFL scouting combine last Wednesday.
“Roddy is on the best competitors and warriors I have ever been around,” Quinn said. “He was one of the first players I reached out to when I was hired here, and I want to thank him for his professionalism and leadership.”