ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the deal:
With camp about to begin, Falcons are giving WR Roddy White a 4-year extension that ties him to ATL for next five seasons, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 24, 2014
Falcons WR Roddy White's new four-year deal with ATL is worth up to $30 million, including $18 million the next two seasons, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 24, 2014
The team's official Twitter account confirmed the agreement:
On Friday, Falcons communication director Brian Cearns provided Matt Ryan's statement on White's new deal:
CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora reported on a potential variation:
I'm told Roddy White's new contract includes 3 new years. It's a 4-year deal in total but he had 1yr left on previous deal— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) July 24, 2014
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network provides perspective on White's deal:
That $11M figure this year for Roddy White puts him for 2014 just under Vincent Jackson and just above Brandon Marshall for top WR salaries— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 24, 2014
Following a down year for the four-time Pro Bowler in 2013, White, 32, had just one year left on his deal before he would have become a free agent. After spending his entire career with the Falcons since 2005, White didn't want to suit up for another team after the 2014 season.
At the end of the regular season, White offered his thoughts on the future, per ESPN.com's Vaughn McClure:
I hope it gets done. If it doesn’t, I have one year left on my contract. I’ll play it out and I’ll go from there. But I want to be here, no doubt about it. I’ve spent my whole career here. And I love the organization. I love everyone in it. So that will be the next step. But I do know this is a business. Things happen.
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff also noted White's willingness to remain with the team, via McClure: "Roddy’s made it very clear that he wants to be back here for the duration of his career and he’s obviously been a beyond-fine football player for us. So we’re hoping that he will be able to do that."
White dealt with ankle and hamstring injuries throughout the season. Further, top target Julio Jones only played in five games after injuring his foot, so defenses were able to focus more attention on White.
For the first time in his nine-year career, White didn't play in every game. In 13 contests, he tallied 63 receptions, 711 yards and three touchdowns, though he had 43 catches for 502 yards and two touchdowns in his final five games.
Before the deal was signed, McClure explained White's prior contract:
White, a former first-round pick, is signed through the 2014 season. He has a base salary of $5 million and a cap figure of $6.35 million in 2014. Signing White to an extension would help lower his cap number, making it a win for both sides.
The Falcons understand White's value despite last year's drop-off. Not drafting a receiver probably emphasized their belief in him as well as their faith in Julio Jones' full recovery from foot surgery. Jones, signed through 2015 after a fifth-year option worth $10.176 million was executed, is sure to be rewarded with a lucrative new deal at some point.
According to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, the NFC South should see a boost in the passing game in 2014:
Add healthy Julio Jones & Roddy White to rookies Evans, Cooks and Benjamin and NFC South gets big boost in passing attacks ...— Greg Auman (@gregauman) May 9, 2014
White finished his season on a high note in 2014, even though the Falcons limped home with a very disappointing 4-12 record. With six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons prior to 2013, Jones back in camp and Matt Ryan under center, the future looks bright.
Expect White to surge this season. If the Falcons remain relatively healthy, the team looks poised for a bounce back to relevance as well.
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