Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Extension looming for Falcons' White
By Vaughn McClure
Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said he would revisit contract extensions after free agency and the NFL draft.
Well, the free-agency frenzy and draft have concluded.
Dimitroff and the Falcons can now address unfinished business regarding some of their veterans. One player who immediately comes to mind is receiver Roddy White, who anticipated receiving an extension after the draft, not anytime sooner.
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. He could be looking at an extension similar to the one Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne got in March of 2012. But being that it's two years later with an increased salary cap, White no doubt wants more.
Wayne, then 33, signed a three-year extension worth $17.5 million with $7.5 million guaranteed. He received a $6.5 million signing bonus, and his cap figures were the following: $3,167,171 in 2013, $8,167,191 in 2014, $6,166,668 in 2015.
White, who turns 33 in November, previously told ESPN.com he wants to play three or four more years. He had his consecutive streak of 1,000-yard seasons snapped at six last year as hamstring and ankle injuries limited him to 711 receiving yards in 13 games. He also had a consecutive games streak end at 133.
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.
As for White, he showed flashes of his old self toward the end of last season when he caught 38 passes for 449 yards and two touchdowns over the final four games.
His teammates respect him. Fellow receiver Harry Douglas constantly refers to him as a big brother. And White has every intention to finish his career in Atlanta.
"I want to be here, no doubt about it," White told ESPN.com in December. "I've spent my whole career here. And I love the organization. I love everyone in it."