Roddy White Comments on Falcons Release, Relationship with Kyle Shanahan

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured ColumnistMarch 6, 2016

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White watches from the sideline in the second half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Weston Kenney)
Weston Kenney/Associated Press

After he spent 11 seasons with the team, the Atlanta Falcons released Roddy White on Wednesday. On Saturday, the franchise's all-time leading receiver spoke with ESPN.com's Vaughn McClure about his release and his relationship with Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. 

"No, I ain't frustrated at all; it is what it is," White said. "That's just the NFL. Eventually, it's going to be your time. It's just according to when it happens. ... The other guys felt I couldn't contribute to help the team win anymore, so they did what they had to do."

According to White, there were signs that his time with the Falcons was running out even though he had two years left on his contract:

They showed no indication that I was going to be there, so I kind of expected it already. Like last year going through the whole situation, I knew I was going to be on the team because they said I was going to be on the team. But this year, they didn't say that. They never gave any clear indication I was going to be there.

White has compiled over 10,000 receiving yards in his career, the only Falcons player to do so. But in 2015, he caught only 43 passes for 506 yards in an offense that is now headlined by wide receiver Julio Jones. It was White's lowest output since his second year in the league (2006). 

His 70 targets were the fourth-most on the team behind Jones, running back Devonta Freeman and tight end Jacob Tamme. A lot of that had to do with Shanahan, who White claimed had a different vision for his role than he did.

"I expected to play a bigger role in the offense, and that's what I wanted to do," he said. "But he didn't have that in his desires. He had other people that he wanted to play my role, so he wanted me to be out of the [offense]."

White also accused Shanahan of mismanaging in-game situations, saying that he "screwed up and we didn't have the opportunity to win the game...and it literally cost us like two games."

The 34-year-old told McClure that he tried to speak with Shanahan during the season, but the coordinator made no adjustments to the offense. Instead, the Falcons' 21st-ranked scoring offense sputtered down the stretch.

In the final 10 weeks of the season, Atlanta didn't score more than 23 points in any game, which White put on Shanahan: "Prior to him being there, we could score 20 points sitting down. Our offense was never really a problem before."

White, though, will now have to try to catch on with another team with his 11 years in Atlanta firmly in the rearview mirror. "I'm literally done with that situation," he said.

After the team released him, White told ESPN's Josina Anderson via text message (h/t McClure) that he wants to play "another year or two." 

Teams that are looking for a veteran presence at wide receiver might jump at the chance to sign White. His numbers aren't what they used to be, but a fresh start in a new system could rejuvenate him for the final few seasons of his career.

Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com.


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