The Falcons Roddy White saga continues another week. For those of you who have missed the
only biggest offseason story, the team and player have both expressed interest in the veteran returning for another year. However, nothing has happened yet: no restructures, no announcements, no cuts.
Atlanta has recently cut veteran William Moore, and will sever ties with Paul Soliai after he refused a pay cut. If something happens with White, it could occur soon.
White opened up to Jeff Schultz of the AJC, and he sounds like he really wants to finish his career in Atlanta. Schultz's article is full of great info on Roddy, Kyle Shanahan, and the state of the Falcons, and is a great read.
"No, I haven’t spoken to anybody," the veteran wide receiver said when asked if he had been given any indication from the Falcons as to whether he’s a part of their future. "I haven’t been given clarity about anything."
This can be interpreted multiple ways, but Schultz adeptly points to Atlanta's failure in handling the center position in recent years. Thomas Dimitroff failed to bring back the consistent and respected Todd McClure, in favor of Peter Konz. The team currently lacks depth at wide receiver, and would need to add two to three pass catchers if they get rid of White. Based on this year's free agents and Atlanta's lack of draft picks, that is nearly impossible.
Roddy had an opinion about McClure leaving the Falcons too soon.
"We should’ve had Todd McClure for two more years. I believe if we had him, we could’ve gone to a Super Bowl. He literally fixed everything. Todd always made sure somebody was on a body, which alleviated pressure on Matt. He was the ultimate at that, making calls, reading blitzes and letting Matt do his thing. When Todd left, Matt couldn’t be as good at the other stuff."
The same could be said for a number of other player swaps: Garrett Reynolds for Harvey Dahl, Osi Umenyiora for Jonathan Abraham, and Akeem Dent for Curtis Lofton. All were major blunders that the team has been unable to correct. Despite the last few disappointing seasons, White sounds dedicated to returning to Atlanta. Maybe he even agrees to cut his base salary into something more fitting of his role?
"I’d bet every dollar I had that I’m going to be a Falcon," White said.
Sometimes he says things for effect.
"Yeah," he acknowledged, laughing. "But that’s how much I want to stay here."
Schultz critiqued Kyle Shananhan through the article, and rightfully so. White was forced into a smaller role to make room for Leonard Hankerson, and many of the offensive schemes failed to fit with the roster. The offense collapsed, and fans watched a Mike Mularkey-level stubbornness sticking to an ineffective scheme.
I know this much: Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan blew it last season. He forced elements of his scheme on the team before fully realizing what he had on the roster. The Falcons signed wide receiver Leonard Hankerson largely because of his history with Shanahan in Washington. That decision was a miserable failure as Hankerson dropped passes and couldn’t stay healthy, consistent with his career.
Many expected White to have a reduced role, but under the assumption that Hankerson could take a developmental step. That never happened. The offense was the best when White was receiving more target. Shanahan failed to make the adjustments that even the average fan believed was necessary.
Based on White's statements, we will need to wait to find out his future with the team. However, the team is not needy for cap space. The team needs a player who can run the offense and consistently catch the football.
Update: McClure, the life-long Falcon, had this to saw about White being left in the dark.
This is where an organization should at least communicate with a man that has poured his heart into this franchise. https://t.co/osY4gMmrk6— Todd Mcclure (@ToddMcclure62) February 23, 2016