Fresh off his release from the Atlanta Falcons, Roddy White becomes the biggest name free-agent wide receiver in football. The fact that White is a four-time Pro Bowler with six 1,000-yard seasons will likely cause many teams to take a close look, but the 34-year-old represents a dangerous investment.
How much tread does White have left on his tires? The dude hasn’t suffered any major injuries — he’s missed just five games in 11 NFL seasons — but that alone means he’s never really had a chance to rest. To his credit, White has always toughed out injuries, but he’s been banged up so frequently that you have to wonder how worn down he is.
He’s one of only seven wide receiver in NFL history to play in over 170 games in their first 11 seasons, and among that group only Torry Holt, Reggie Wayne and Jerry Rice had a workload like White’s.
The good news is while Holt retired after 11 seasons, Rice had an extremely long career and Wayne was fantastic as a 34-year-old in his 12th season. It was, however, all downhill from there for the Colts wideout.
White could recover late like Rice did, especially in a fresh setting, but he’s gone three straight seasons without reaching the 1,000-yard mark. He came very close to career lows with just 43 catches, 506 yards and a single touchdown despite starting all 16 of Atlanta’s games in 2015. And one year after Pro Football Focus deemed him the worst blocking receiver in the game, he was second most-penalized receiver in football.
White did catch a solid 64 percent of the passes thrown his way last year, dropping just two. That might give some folks hope, but it’s less-than-encouraging that he publicly complained regarding his lack of opportunities within the offense. His next job won’t likely see him in a featured role. How will he handle that?
If White can find the right fit and accept a complementary role somewhere, he could excel. But it does appear as though his Pro Bowl days are long gone.