Veteran receiver Roddy White may have seen his role reduced in Atlanta this year, but he’s not interested in seeing his salary reduced as well. Speaking to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com, and later to 680 The Fan in Atlanta, White said on Monday that he’s not interested in taking a pay cut for 2016.
White, 34, played all 16 games for the Falcons in 2015, but was targeted just 70 times and caught only 43 balls for 506 yards and a single touchdown. All of those totals are his lowest marks since 2006, his second NFL season.
While White expressed some dissatisfaction with his usage earlier in the season, he repeatedly stressed that he wants to remain in Atlanta, indicating in October that he intends to be a “Falcon for life,” then doubling down on that stance in December when he said he plans on being a Falcon “forever.”
Still, it’s not clear if White will be given the opportunity to play out the final two years of his contract with the Falcons without accepting a pay cut or a restructuring of some sort. His salaries for 2016 and 2017 are relatively modest – $2.75MM and $3MM, respectively – but he can earn $1.5MM in bonuses each season as well — $1MM for making the 53-man roster, then up to an additional $500K in per-game roster bonuses.
Throw in $1.888MM in annual prorated signing bonus money and White’s cap numbers for the next two seasons exceed $6MM, making him the sixth-most expensive player on the roster. In order for those cap charge to be viable, the Falcons would have to count on White bouncing back and exceeding his 2015 numbers, but it’s not clear that sort of rebound is in the cards for the veteran wideout.
We’re still at least a few weeks away from the Falcons having to make any real cap decisions for 2016, but this will be a situation worth monitoring this winter.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.