Hours before the players began reporting for 2014 XFINITY® Atlanta Falcons Training Camp on Thursday, the team gave fans more reason for excitement, signing star WR Roddy White to a four-year contract extension.
White has performed, entertained and wowed Falcons fans for nine years and the team ensured that he'll have the opportunity to continue doing so for the next four years, hopefully retiring as a lifelong Falcon.
Atlanta loved what it saw out of White in college, thriving at Alabama-Birmingham, where he led the nation in receiving yards (1,452) in 2004. Months later, the Falcons selected him in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft (27th overall). Since joining the team, there's no arguing that in this very stats-driven league, White has risen to the occasion, setting several franchise records, including the following:
9,436 – Most career receiving yards
1,389 – Most receiving yards in a season
685 – Most career receptions
369 – Most career postseason receiving yards
210 – Most receiving yards in a single game
115 – Most receptions in a single season
37– Most 100-yard receiving games (career)
34 - Most career postseason receptions
11 - Most 10-reception games (career)
7– Most 100-yard games in a season
6– Most consecutive 1,000-yard seasons
Between 2010 and 2012, White became just the fifth player in NFL history to record three-straight seasons, with 90-plus receptions and 1,200-plus yards. He also earned Pro Bowl honors from 2008-2011.
Let's not kid ourselves, with White in camp, reuniting with WR Julio Jones, the Falcons season is looking brighter and brighter by the day. The last time both WRs played in all 16 regular season games was in 2012, when each recorded 1,000-plus receiving yards.
Since being drafted in the first round in 2005, WR Roddy White has been a crucial part of the offense for the Atlanta Falcons. With a new extension, his legacy will continue with the team he began with.
"Roddy is one of the leaders and tone-setters of our football team. I am extremely happy for him," QB Matt Ryan said of White's extension. "He has been a major part of my development as a player and of the evolution of our team. I am fortunate to have had him here from my very first snap in this league and I am looking forward to being able to continue that relationship on and off the field.
"I think it is special for any player to be able to spend their entire career with one team — you don't see that much anymore — and I think that speaks to the way he is viewed by this organization."
Not only a true professional on the field, White continues to impact people off of it, donating time, energy and resources to those in need. He hosts a football camp for kids, serving as a coach and mentor, providing daily talks that highlight the finer points of football and life.
Despite his success in football and business, nothing makes White as proud as his two beautiful children, son Roddy Jr. and daughter Milan, who will get to continue watching their dad bring smiles to the faces of Falcons fans for at least the next four years.