The Atlanta Falcons have made re-signing wide receiver Roddy White a top priority this offseason, and apparently finishing his career in Atlanta is important to him too.
White recently guest hosted 680 The Fan’s The Front Row, and made it clear that he plans on being a Falcon for life.
I do want to stay here for the rest of my career, White said. He also added, They want me to be here, I want to be here, so let’s make it happen.
Sure, it feels good to want him to finish his career as a Falcon, but is that really what’s best for the team moving forward?
The truth is that White is a 32-year-old receiver who is starting to be injury prone. He’s due to make over $6 million in 2014 and be a free agent next offseason. He’s still productive, but the cardinal sin in the NFL is to pay for previous production.
The Falcons can’t trap themselves into feeling like they need to keep White at any number. It would be great to have him on the squad the next few years, but the reality is that his production will likely plummet as he gets into his mid-thirties. That’s about the time when most receivers tend to lose a step, and the last thing Atlanta wants to do is end up with a big cap hit over their heads for an aging receiver who isn’t playing well on the field.
It’s always tough to let a player go who has meant so much to the franchise. White has been one of the best players on the Falcons for years now, but they can’t let that cloud their judgement when it comes to his future with the team.
There’s a number that’s worth keeping him around, but likely that isn’t the kind of salary he thinks he’s worth.
It’s tough to do, but the Falcons need to make sure they don’t hamstring their salary cap flexibility with a costly, long term contract for an aging receiver.