Kyle Shanahan isn't going anywhere, while Roddy White is out of Atlanta. There was no way this situation was going to be all sunshine and roses, but I was hoping it wouldn't get as ugly as it has. To wit, from the AJC's D. Orlando Ledbetter:
"There is one reason Roddy is no longer with the Falcons and it is Kyle Shanahan," said Jonathan Feinsod, White’s longtime agent, on Sunday to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"Kyle forced the Falcons to choose between him or Roddy. This was not Roddy’s choice. Over the last 11 years Roddy has played for four different head coaches. Four different offensive coordinators. Three different wide receiver coaches and one incredible owner. Their opinions of Roddy and his opinion of them would all be consistently positive. Roddy has had and continues to have an incredible professional and personal relationship with them all."
Dan Quinn took pains to note that Roddy's release was his decision, and his alone, but that's done nothing to quell suspicions from the fanbase and Roddy's camp that Shanahan was responsible for it. After a year that saw his targets drop dramatically and some message-sending from both sides, it's hard not to see Shanahan's fingerprints on Roddy's release. The question, really, is whether Roddy would have been released for on-the-field reasons had Shanahan not been here.
There are reasons to believe that would have been the case, given Roddy's injury issues and inability to create meaningful separation, and his salary is expensive for a guy who isn't going to be your #2 wide receiver. Shanahan isn't going to come out and say all that, of course, so Roddy is going to win the war for public opinion, and Shanahan's ongoing battles with arrogance and apparent inflexibility do him no favors. In my humble opinion, Shanahan did want Roddy out, and Roddy was in decline. You can choose which one was more germane here, and given Roddy's status as a legend and Shanahan's unpopularity, I'm guessing I know which one you'll choose.
Frankly, given the headaches he's come with thus far, Shanahan really needs his offense to have a fine year, regardless of how much he has to do with Roddy's situation. The Falcons aren't going to put up with a guy who earns comments like this from current former players unless the offense is humming along:
@ProFootballTalk I believe it 100% big ego first hand experience— Jason Pinkston (@JasonPinkstonOL) March 7, 2016
I don't know if this will get uglier or if things will quiet down, but it's obvious that the acrimony in this situation is limited to Roddy and his representation versus Kyle Shanahan. We'll see what lies ahead.