Roddy White

Roddy White Retires From NFL?

Despite being linked to handful of teams in 2016, former Falcons receiver Roddy White wound up sitting out the entire year. Now, after a conversation with WSB TV’s Zach Klein and Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it sounds like he won’t be returning to the game. White “is done playing,” Schultz writes. Roddy White

During his chat, White went into detail about how close he was to finding an NFL home last season. Interestingly enough, he was close to signing with the Patriots after Atlanta cut him loose in March. Before the two sides could finalize an agreement, however, the Pats opted to sign Nate Washington instead. The Vikings reached out to White after their 5-0 start but by the time the team was ready to sign him, they had begun their slide. He also turned down interest from the Titans and Buccaneers either because he didn’t view them as contenders or worried about playing time. Ultimately, he stopped working out in mid-October when it was clear he would not land with a contender.

White, 34, made four Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro in 2010, when he caught a career-high 110 passes for 1,389 yards and 10 touchdowns. Unfortunately, he wasn’t used much in his final NFL season and finished with just 43 catches for 506 yards and a touchdown. White will be remembered fondly by Falcons fans and he’ll likely be inducted to the team’s Ring of Honor sometime soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Hester, White, Bennett, Coughlin

Some assorted notes from around the NFL on this Saturday afternoon…

  • Devin Hester is hoping to play one more season in the NFL, and the return man told ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure that several teams have already reached out. “Teams already have tried to sign me, but I’m not ready to go,” Hester said. “We told teams that I’m not ready to practice, still rehabbing.” The 33-year-old is still recovering from offseason toe surgery. Hester was released by the Falcons earlier this week.
  • Roddy White isn’t looking to sign a minimum-salary contract for 2016, writes Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. The 34-year-old is still on the Titans “radar,” even after the team signed veteran wideout Andre Johnson. If things don’t work out with the former Texans star, Florio notes that the Titans could make a harder push for White.
  • Florio also adds the Buccaneers to the list of potential landing spots for White. The writer cites the receiver’s relationship with head coach Dirk Koetter, who was previously the Falcons offensive coordinator.
  • With reports surrounding Michael Bennett‘s apparent dissatisfaction with his contract, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the defensive end “is in town” for the first day of Seahawks training camp. Earlier this week, it was reported that the two sides would meet to discuss the 30-year-old’s contract.
  • Following news that former coach Tom Coughlin would be joining the NFL’s football operations department, Florio has details on the role. Coughlin will serve as a “senior advisor,” working alongside executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent and participating in “all game-related committees.” The 69-year-old will also provide “strategic guidance” on the draft and the Pro Bowl.

Roddy White, Devin Hester Plan To Play In 2016

Recently-released return man Devin Hester has no plans on retiring, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. Same goes for former Falcons wide receiver Roddy White who is “in contact with a few teams” and wants to play in 2016. Roddy White/Devin Hester (vertical)

[RELATED: Falcons Considering Dwight Freeney, O’Brien Schofield]

Last month, White indicated that he wanted to continue playing, but he also said that he would only suit up for a contender. It’s not clear at this time if White is still holding out for a team that can win a ring in 2016.

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. “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.”

White, 34, made four Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro in 2010, when he caught a career-high 110 passes for 1,389 yards and 10 touchdowns. Here at PFR, we listed White as an honorable mention when ranking the best players still available on the open market in May.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Roddy, Falcons, Cowboys, Bucs

After Roddy White amassed just 43 catches for 506 yards and a touchdown last season, the Falcons released their all-time leading receiver in March. The 34-year-old White, who remains a free agent, opened up about his 11th and final season in Atlanta to Dukes & Bell of WZGC-FM on Wednesday (link via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk).

Regarding the Falcons’ coaching staff, White commented, “I just feel like coming into the season they had a role for me and it wasn’t told [to] me before the season started,” adding that he didn’t complain “because it wasn’t going to change anything.”

White is now content to be out of of a Falcons uniform, saying, “I would have went crazy if I had to go through that another year. When I got released, it wasn’t like I wasn’t feeling like terrible because I was like, ‘I can’t play football like that,’ because I was just miserable. I knew that a lot of times that we had opportunities to win games and I wasn’t put in that position to make that play and I felt we lost those games because I wasn’t put in that position to make that plays.”

Had coordinator Kyle Shanahan involved White in the offense more, the wideout believes the Falcons would have made the playoffs. They instead turned a 6-1 start into an 8-8 overall mark en route to a third straight year without a postseason berth.

More from the NFC:

  • The Cowboys are worse from a talent standpoint without defensive end Greg Hardy, opine Dan Graziano, Phil Sheridan and John Keim of ESPN.com, though each writer notes that they might be a better team without his toxic presence in the fold. While Hardy was an off-field distraction and public relations nightmare for the Cowboys last season, the current free agent did total six of their paltry 31 sacks. With Hardy unlikely to return and fellow ends Randy Gregory and Demarcus Lawrence facing four-game suspensions, the Cowboys’ pass rush (or lack thereof) could continue weighing them down this year, Graziano contends.
  • Whether Dirk Koetter can successfully transition from offensive coordinator to head coach as he takes over for the fired Lovie Smith is one of a handful of pertinent questions facing this year’s Buccaneers, writes Roy Cummings of Today’s Pigskin. While Koetter has been a successful coordinator in the pros – including his time atop Tampa Bay’s fifth-ranked offense last season – he hasn’t held a head coaching position since his tenure with Arizona State ended in 2006, notes Cummings. And while Koetter’s teams at ASU went a respectable 66-44, none finished higher than third in the conference formerly known as the Pac-10.
  • In case you missed it, retired wideout Calvin Johnson revealed Wednesday that he would have had a harder time walking away if the Lions were more competitive.

Roddy White Only Wants To Play For Contender

Roddy White is still waiting on a phone call from an NFL team, but that doesn’t mean that he’s desperate for an offer. The wide receiver says that he only wants to play for a team that can win the Super Bowl in 2016. Roddy White (vertical)

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 told Jeff Schultz of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “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.”

Of course, everyone’s definition of a contending team varies. For White, he says that there are “maybe six teams” that he would consider signing with for this season. If one of those six teams don’t come calling, he says that he is prepared to retire. He’s also not planning on dragging things out for too long.

I’ll let it go into the season, maybe Week 4 or 5,” he said. “If it doesn’t happen, I’ll be putting my cleats on a power line, just like Marshawn Lynch.”

White, 34, made four Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro in 2010, when he caught a career-high 110 passes for 1,389 yards and 10 touchdowns. In early March, the Falcons bid farewell to White and, soon after, his agent pointed the finger at offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

There is one reason Roddy is no longer with the Falcons and it is Kyle Shanahan,” rep Jonathan Feinsod said. “Kyle forced the Falcons to choose between him or Roddy.”

Here at PFR, we listed White as an honorable mention when ranking the best players still available on the open market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Best Available NFL Free Agents: Offense

The most high-profile free agent signings occurred more than two months ago, but as we near June there are still talented NFL free agents available on the open market. Most of these players (with a few exceptions) won’t command much guaranteed money, and given that we’ve passed the May 12 deadline, none will factor into the compensatory draft pick formula. Let’s take a look at the players who will try to find a home as training camp approaches:"<strong

1. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB: The most obvious destination for Fitzpatrick remains the Jets, who don’t intend to play second-round pick Christian Hackenberg immediately but, as of the draft, hadn’t had meaningful talks with Fitz’s camp in awhile. The 33-year-old Fitzpatrick has apparently told people he’d “rather not play football” in 2016 than accept New York’s current offer, though that seems like a negotiating ploy to get the Jets to put more than $7-8MM on the table. Gang Green holds all the leverage in this scenario, as the only other club that might have still been searching for a quarterback — the Broncos — is thought to have ended their hunt for another signal-caller after drafting Paxton Lynch last month.

2. Anquan Boldin, WR: Even as he ages, Boldin continues to post solid production — he’s managed at least 65 receptions in each of the past four years, averaging nearly 1,000 yards and five touchdowns during that time. And while the 49ers have not asked him to return in 2016, Boldin could be an option for a number of wide receiver-needy teams, as the Bengals, Steelers, Colts, Chiefs, and Giants could all make varying levels of sense for the veteran pass-catcher, especially given that he’s indicated he’d prefer to play for a contender. Boldin has taken just one free agent visit this offseason, but that team — Washington — is unlikely to still have interest given that it selected TCU wideout Josh Doctson in the first round of the draft.

3. Arian Foster, RB: There’s no question that Foster offers the highest upside of any free agent on this list, as he’s topped 1,200 yards rushing in every season that he’s remained even remotely healthy. But health, of course, has remained a hindrance throughout Foster’s career — in 2015 alone, Foster was slowed by a groin injury during camp before suffering a torn Achilles in in Week 7. The Dolphins met with Foster earlier this offseason and could still be a landing spot, while the Raiders, Eagles, and Chargers (especially if Melvin Gordon‘s recovery from microfracture surgery doesn’t go well) could be options.

4. Jahri Evans, G: Knee and ankle injuries limited Evans to 11 games in 2015, but like Foster, Evans is a solid contributor when he’s on the field, as he graded as the league’s No. 27 guard among 81 qualifiers last year, per Pro Football Focus. Entering his age-33 season, Evans might have to be willing to engage in a camp battle for a starting role, or even wait until a club suffers an injury along its offensive interior. But a team like the Broncos, who are currently projected to start sixth-round rookie Connor McGovern at right guard, could express interest.

5. Louis Vasquez, G: Vasquez isn’t quite the guard that Evans is, but he offers a vast amount of experience, as he played over 1,000 snaps in 2015 with Denver, and has started 101 games since entering the league in 2009. Not yet 30 years old, Vasquez could help a number of clubs at either guard position — he met with the Titans earlier this offseason, and depending on its assessment of Jeremiah Poutasi, Tennessee may still be interested. The Chiefs, having failed to replace Jeff Allen, could also make sense as a destination."<strong

6. Andre Johnson, WR: After posting the worst full-season results of his career, Johnson was released by the Colts just one season into a three-year pact. Whether interested clubs will determine that Johnson was victimized by a lackluster 2015 Indianapolis (and largely Andrew Luck-less) offense — or instead conclude that Johnson is just about finished at age-34 — is an open question, but the 13-year veteran has indicated that he’d like to continue playing in 2016.

7. Will Beatty, T: Beatty is expected to be fully healthy this summer after missing the entire 2015 season with a torn pectoral muscle, but he reportedly won’t be returning to the Giants. It’s a little surprising that Beatty hasn’t yet found a home for 2016, but he shouldn’t have to wait much longer, as he’s clearly the best tackle available on the open market (his top competition is the likes of Jake Long and Mike Adams). I could see the Bears bringing in Beatty to compete with Charles Leno on the blindside, while the Cardinals could also be a feasible landing spot if they aren’t happy with D.J. Humphries — who didn’t play a single snap as a rookie — at right tackle.

8. James Jones, WR: Another season catching passes from Aaron Rodgers, another successful year for Jones, who returned to Green Bay after a year in Oakland to post 50 receptions for nearly 900 yards an eight touchdowns. Jones, now 32, has indicated that he’d like to play for awhile longer, though the Packers have reportedly moved on. After waiting until July of last year to sign with the Giants (and September to reunite with the Pack), Jones could again have to wait awhile to find a new team, but whoever signs him will be acquiring a big-play threat — in 2015, Jones ranked fourth in the league with 17.8 yards per reception.

9. Ryan Wendell, C/G: Perhaps the least recognizable name on this list, Wendell spent the last seven seasons as a utility interior lineman with the Patriots, and ended up starting 44 contests from 2012-2014. A knee injury prematurely ended Wendell’s 2015 season in November, and a March report stated that Wendell would wait until he returned to full health before signing with a new team. A return to New England can’t be ruled out, but a club like the Cardinals — who are currently projecting A.Q. Shipley to start at center — could also be on Wendell’s radar.

10. Owen Daniels, TE: Daniels has spent all ten of his NFL seasons under the tutelage of Gary Kubiak, following the coach from Houston to Baltimore and, finally, to Denver. That streak of loyalty is now in danger after the Broncos released Daniels earlier this year, though Kubiak did not rule out re-signing the veteran tight end (Denver has since signed fellow TE Garrett Graham, however). Even at age-33, Daniels performed in line with his career averages, posting 48 receptions for more than 500 yards and four touchdowns.

Honorable mention: Tarvaris Jackson, QB; Joique Bell, RB; Bryce Brown, RB; Marques Colston, WR; Brian Hartline, WR; Roddy White, WR; Khaled Holmes, C; Amini Silatolu, G.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Fitzpatrick, Panthers, Manning

As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk observes, some free agents who haven’t received a ton of interest in recent weeks may see their markets pick up after this Thursday. May 12th will be the first day that free agents no longer count toward the compensatory draft pick formula for 2017, meaning teams can sign veteran players without worrying about potentially losing draft picks next spring.

Of course, players who were released earlier in the offseason never counted toward that comp-pick formula, so guys who fit that bill, such as Roddy White, Antonio Cromartie, and Chris Culliver, won’t be affected. But for someone like Ryan Fitzpatrick, who simple saw his contract expire back in March, it could make a difference — teams could be more willing to make a solid offer if they know it won’t affect their 2017 draft plans.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Earlier today, a report indicated that the Panthers and standout defensive tackle Kawann Short had begun discussing a contract extension. David Newton of ESPN.com explores what such a deal might be worth, reaching the same conclusion we did: Carolina won’t offer an Ndamukong Suh-type contract, but something that puts him in the second tier of highest-paid DTs wouldn’t be unreasonable.
  • Peyton Manning paid a visit to the Dolphins this offseason, but it wasn’t as a free agent. As Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald details, Manning was in Miami to meet with his former offensive coordinator, Adam Gase, as well as Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and explained some of the nuances of Gase’s offense to Tannehill. “It was really cool just to be able to sit and pick his brain about things he’s done in this offense and football things in general: snap counts, things you like, the way you want guys to run routes, little details about the game,” Tannehill said. “We really just got to talk the game, which is something we both love.”
  • Browns owner Jimmy Haslam continues to be tied up in civil lawsuits filed against Pilot Flying J, a truck-stop chain owned by him and his brother. An Associated Press report (link via Ohio.com) provides the latest details on Haslam, who has agreed to be deposed “under specific conditions.”
  • The Bears have promoted Mark Sadowski to director of college scouting, replacing Joe Douglas who is leaving for Philadelphia, Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

NFC Notes: Cousins, White, Giants, Bucs

Washington and the Eagles lined up their 2016 quarterbacks within days of each other, with Kirk Cousins staying in D.C. on the franchise tag and Sam Bradford signing a two-year deal to remain in Philadelphia.

Washington, however, was concerned the Eagles were going to pursue Cousins if it didn’t apply the franchise tag or designated the fifth-year quarterback with the transition tag, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.

Florio points out Cousins’ familiarity in an offense closer to the West Coast attack Doug Pederson runs would have made the Mike Shanahan-drafted signal-caller attractive to the Eagles.

Here’s more from some NFC destinations as the 2015 league year nears its conclusion.

  • Roddy White‘s release from the Falcons stemmed from the receiver’s relationship with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, White’s agent, Jonathan Feinsod, told D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “There is one reason Roddy is no longer with the Falcons and it is Kyle Shanahan,” Feinsod told Ledbetter. “Kyle forced the Falcons to choose between him or Roddy.” White also contended Kyle Shanahan did not feature him much in the Falcons’ offense after he arrived from Cleveland in 2015, with the recently released wideout telling ESPN’s Vaughn McClureI expected to play a bigger role in the offense, and that’s what I wanted to do. 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’s 43 receptions in 16 games last season were 37 fewer than he caught in 2014 in 14 contests. Falcons coach Dan Quinn denied consulting with Shanahan prior to making the decision to release the 34-year-old White, according to Ledbetter.
  • A source close to Calvin Johnson tells Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press there’s “nothing to report” on Megatron’s potential retirement. Birkett notes the Lions are expected to pursue receiving help. Johnson is on Detroit’s books for $24.01MM as of now.
  • The Giants engaged in discussions with Jason Pierre-Paul and Robert Ayers but couldn’t come to terms, Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports. He expects both to enter unrestricted free agency and begin talking with teams Monday.
  • Vacchiano also notes the Cowboys are expected to have interest in former Buccaneers first-round pick Adrian Clayborn, whom the Giants are expected to pursue as well. The 27-year-old Clayborn started five games for the Falcons last season and 16 in both the 2011 and ’13 seasons with the Bucs, respectively. The Cowboys could lose Greg Hardy and will be without Randy Gregory for four games in 2016.
  • Georgia Southern outside linebacker Antoine Williams worked out for the Bucs, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The Bucs are expected to release Bruce Carter and did not tender RFA Danny Lansanah, so they’ll likely be in the market for outside-linebacking help.

Extra Points: Shorts, Roddy, Allen, Titans, Bucs

Veteran receiver Cecil Shorts is expected to return to the Texans and finish out the second and final year of the two-year contract he signed prior to the 2015 season, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Shorts, 28, appeared in 11 games last year, catching 42 passes for 484 yards and two touchdowns. Houston could save almost $3MM by releasing Shorts, but with fellow pass-catcher Nate Washington heading for free agency, the club will need options out wide.

Let’s dive into a few more items from around the league…

  • Having already identified the Buccaneers as a possible for suitor for free agent Roddy White, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link) also points to the Titans and Raiders as potential landing spots for the veteran receiver. It’s unclear if Rapoport is reporting or just making connections, but either way, each club makes sense — both Tennessee (Terry Robiskie) and Oakland (Bill Musgrave) field offenses run by former members of Atlanta’s coaching staff.
  • Pending free agent tight end Dwayne Allen hopes he doesn’t even make it to free agency, as he’d prefer to work out an agreement with the Colts before March 9, he told 1070 The Fan today (link via Kevin Bowen of Colts.com). Allen, along with fellow Indianapolis free agent Coby Fleener, would be one of the most sought-after tight ends on the open market. Allen recently hired agent Drew Rosenhaus, who has a history of getting deals done with the Colts, as his new representation.
  • The Buccaneers will not tender restricted free agent linebacker Danny Lansanah, reports Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). The 30-year-old Lansanah has bounced around the league, and he’ll now become an unrestricted free agent next week. Per Auman, the Tampa Bay could re-sign Lansanah at a later date (and presumably, at a cheaper price than even the lowest tender).

Free Agent Rumors: Roddy, Irvin, Conte, Mack

The Falcons released wide receiver Roddy White earlier today, ensuring that the veteran pass-catcher won’t spend a 12th season in Atlanta. But another NFC club could soon come calling, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) says the Buccaneers are a team to “keep an eye on” as White looks for his new home. The connection makes sense, as new Tampa Bay head coach Dirk Koetter was the Falcons offensive coordinator from 2012-14.

Only one week remains until the start of free agency, so let’s round up the latest rumors…

  • In a piece looking at NFL free agency from a broad point-of-view, John Clayton of ESPN.com suggests that Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin should be able to garner $9.5MM per year on the open market, and points to the Jaguars and Falcons as potential suitors. But according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), NFL front offices “would do cartwheels” if Irvin could be had for that price, as the 28-year-old is expected to command a “significantly higher” salary.
  • The Buccaneers are meeting with the agent for free agent safety Chris Conte this week as part of an effort to re-sign him before the beginning of free agency, reports Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune (Twitter link). A report last week indicated that Tampa would like to retain Conte, who just finished up his first season with the club after four years in Chicago.
  • Running back Matt Asiata will hit free agency for the first time next week, and the Vikings seem to want to keep him around, writes Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Minnesota reportedly values Asiata’s pass-blocking acumen, as well as his prowess near the goal line.
  • Center Alex Mack opted out of his Browns contract earlier today, and is now the top center available in free agency. One team that isn’t expected to show interest in signing Mack is the Cardinals, according to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, who notes that the Cards simply have too many internal free agents and other holes to fill to cough up the $10MM salary that Mack will surely request.