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Roddy White Retires from NFL After 11 Seasons with Falcons

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 14, 2017

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

Longtime Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White officially announced his retirement from the National Football League on Friday after going unsigned for the 2016 season. 

He made the decision public on social media:

Roddy White @roddywhiteTV

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

…cont) officially retired from football and welcome the the second phase of my life.

Phillip Kish of WXIA reported Thursday that White is joining the coaching staff at Johns Creek High School in suburban Atlanta.

White hit the open market last offseason after spending 11 years with the Falcons, the franchise that selected him in the first round of the 2005 draft. He told Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in June that he only wanted to keep playing for a contender.

"When my agent and I went down the list and I saw the teams that really needed wide receivers, I was like, 'Wow, I really don't want to go there,'" White said.

He added: "I knew I couldn't win with any of those teams. At this point of my career, I don't want to be dragging my feet in Week 13 just to have an opportunity to be 4-10 next week."

The 35-year-old receiver waited to see if a more promising opportunity would arise, but it never happened. So he's decided to call it quits rather than put his body on the line for a team without a realistic chance of raising the Lombardi Trophy.

White started his career slow, tallying just 59 catches over his first two seasons, and ended on a low note with just 43 grabs and one touchdown in his final campaign. In between, however, he was one of the league's most reliable wide receivers.

The South Carolina native put up six straight seasons with at least 1,100 receiving yards starting in 2007. He eclipsed the 100-reception mark twice, highlighted by a career-high 115 catches in 2010, and also reached double-digit touchdowns two times.

All told, he finishes his career with 808 catches for 10,863 yards and 63 TDs in 171 games. He added 34 grabs for 369 yards and three scores in five postseason appearances for Atlanta.

White's career resume includes four Pro Bowl nods and a First Team All-Pro selection in 2010. In addition, he ranks first in Falcons history in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

Ultimately, he faces an uphill battle in terms of a Hall of Fame induction. Although he put together a strong group of seasons during his prime, he was rarely one of the game's top-tier wideouts. And it doesn't help his cause that there's been a logjam of receivers waiting to get in recently.

That doesn't diminish his accomplishments, though. He was a stalwart for the Falcons over the course of an entire decade, a rare feat in today's sports world, and will go down as one of the best players in the organization's history, even if the call from Canton doesn't arrive.

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