On Wednesday evening, the Atlanta Falcons released Roddy White, who spent all 11 seasons since he was drafted with one franchise.
Over the course of those 11 years, White became one of the greatest athletes Atlanta has ever been able to call its own. Selected in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft, White caught 808 passes for 10,863 yards as a Falcon – both records for the franchise.
He was informed of his release via text message, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn informed the media, because White was out of the country at the time of his release.
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White’s release leaves a sizable hole in the Falcons’ receiving corps, but as he aged, his role as a fan favorite replaced some of the production he lost on the field. Receiver Julio Jones will have big shoes to fill in that regard, as White’s candid attitude, big smile and even bigger laugh will be severely missed by Falcons fans.
The Falcons’ front office made this move because it was necessary. As previously mentioned, White is getting older. His release saved Atlanta $2.45 million in salary cap space, according to AJC.com, which will allow the Falcons to go out and find a decent offensive or defensive lineman – both of which are glaring problems with this franchise.
But that’s a discussion for another day. For now, it’s important to remember all the great things White did for the Falcons, and for the city. He has been open somewhere downfield for more than a decade, and his hard work allowed him to grow into the kind of guy who could run crisp routes and make catches far more often than he dropped the ball.
And if you ask me, he’s responsible for one of the 10 greatest moments in Atlanta sports history: that time he blew past Richard Sherman for a touchdown in the 2013 playoffs. That was one of the last times Sherman looked vulnerable in his career, and it was a crucial touchdown in getting the Falcons a win over the Seattle Seahawks that afternoon.
So thank you for everything, Roddy. But especially for making Richard Sherman look like a fool.
Photo via AtlantaFalcons.comFollow @Sean_Breslin