<
>

Falcons owner Arthur Blank: I love Roddy White

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank wants Roddy White to finish his career with the team but said the decision ultimately will come down to coach Dan Quinn.

The 34-year-old White just completed his 11th NFL season and has two years left on his contract. His salary cap number is $6,043,750 next season, a hefty figure based on White's limited role in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme. And White has no desire to take a paycut.

Although Blank is a White supporter, he won't force the issue regarding which players remain on the roster.

"I have nothing but respect for Roddy and I love Roddy," Blank said in a telephone interview from the Super Bowl's radio row. "I love what he's done for our franchise. And I love the type of leadership that he has. And I love his role as a father.

"When it comes to where Roddy is in the future, that's where the owner doesn't get involved. That's a decision that will be made by the coach, the coaching staff and personnel. When they're ready to do it, they'll do it. They're in the process of going through the roster evaluation now. They've had some discussions. They'll have more discussions."

White said he wants to be a Falcon for life and play in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which will be the Falcons' new home for the 2017 season. Blank was asked if he wants White to be on the roster for the grand opening.

"The answer is, of course, yes," Blank said. "Age does take its toll on players. Whether or not Roddy is going to have the capability at that point in time, I really don't know. But he's certainly competitively, and culturally, and community-wise, he's performed at the highest level for us for a long period of time. And during this year, in some tough situations, he played well."

Quinn, who has the final say over the 53-man roster, said he values the leadership White brings to the equation. Plus the Falcons probably would benefit from White's wisdom with assistant coach Raheem Morris making the move from defensive pass game coordinator to wide receivers coach.

White, the franchise's all-time leading receiver with 808 receptions for 10,863 yards and 63 touchdowns, had just 43 catches for 506 yards and one touchdown this past season. He expressed his desire for more touches early in the season, which led to meetings with both Quinn and Shanahan regarding his role.