Two seasons into his NFL career, Roddy White looked like he might be a first round bust. As he announced he official retirement today, Roddy White will be remembered as an Atlanta Falcons legend, a potential Ring of Honor inductee, and one of the better wide receivers of his generation.
I would like to thank Arthur Blank and the falcons organization for a great 11 years. The city of Atlanta I love y'all so much. I'm (cont…— Roddy White (@roddywhiteTV) April 14, 2017
…cont) officially retired from football and welcome the the second phase of my life.— Roddy White (@roddywhiteTV) April 14, 2017
I open with Roddy’s early career because it illustrates just how remarkable Roddy’s rise was. He freely admitted that he struggled early on, but grew up thanks to his own resolve, the veteran guidance of Joe Horn, and the help of Bobby Petrino’s infinitely less loathsome brother Paul. The result was that Roddy was great in 2007, when he had a collection of awful quarterbacks and journeymen tossing him passes, and he continued that run of greatness until a 2015 season under Kyle Shanahan that saw him marginalized and then cut from the Falcons. Roddy never did latch on with another NFL team, and will now move into the second phase he references above, which looks like a coaching career.
He retires with every franchise mark for receivers, with his 63 receiving touchdowns, 1,377 receptions, and 10,863 receiving yards serving as a testament to his longevity and skill. He was Matt Ryan’s favored target for a four year run of Falcons success before Julio Jones was drafted in 2011, and remained a major part of the team’s passing offense for three seasons after that. Anyone who saw him get open seemingly at will—which he did regularly—knows what a talent he was during his prime.
Roddy will likely be surpassed statistically by Julio Jones before long, but he’ll always be a franchise icon, one of the best receivers in team history, and one of my favorite players in recent memory. We wish him well in his retirement, and hope to someday see him bringing his coaching talent to the Atlanta Falcons.