Roddy White has a massive salary. This season, he has a $2.75 base salary and a $1.5 million roster bonus. Toss in the prorated portion of his surprisingly large signing bonus, he takes up over $6.1 million in cap space. That is a lot of money for a player who could not find a consistent role in the new coaching staff's offensive scheme, and will turn 35 during next season.
White becomes painful to cut. Atlanta would burn up nearly $4 million in cap space cutting him. Many fans would not want to see White leave, and the coaching staff would need to do a significantly better job at replacing White than signing a Leonard Hankerson-type player.
Team owner Arthur Blank tossed support behind White, but said he will let Dan Quinn make the decision. Vaughn McClure of ESPN had the story.
"I have nothing but respect for Roddy and I love Roddy," Blank said in a telephone interview from the Super Bowl's radio row. "I love what he's done for our franchise. And I love the type of leadership that he has. And I love his role as a father.
"When it comes to where Roddy is in the future, that's where the owner doesn't get involved. That's a decision that will be made by the coach, the coaching staff and personnel. When they're ready to do it, they'll do it. They're in the process of going through the roster evaluation now. They've had some discussions. They'll have more discussions."
The best option for White is likely restructuring his contract. Atlanta is widely expected to draft a wide receiver in the first few rounds, but could use White as a mentor and a 3rd or 4th wide receiver. If Roddy is accepting of a reduced salary more inline with those expectations, he should be able to stick around. Atlanta could cut down Roddy's cap hit, and not create another hole on the roster.
The only thing we know for sure is that Blank will not force a personnel decision onto his coaching staff.