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NFL AM: Falcons Release Roddy White

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Falcons release Roddy White:

Roddy White is the Atlanta Falcons’ all-time leading receiver with 808 receptions over 11 seasons, but if the team’s first-round pick from 2005 wants to play in 2016, it will have to be somewhere else after the team decided to release him on Wednesday.

2015 was not a good year for White and the Falcons, as the receiver’s mouth may have been the most prolific part of his game, as the former No.1 option complained about his role in the team’s new offense, and hauled in just 43 catches; his fewest total since 2006, and since becoming a starter.

Despite White’s decline in play, Falcons’ general manager Thomas Dimitroff called the decision one of the most difficult decisions he’s been a part of.

“Decisions like these are always difficult, but this was one of the most difficult decisions I have been a part of in my years of football,” general manager Dimitroff said in a statement. “We have a tremendous amount of respect and gratitude for what Roddy has meant to this community and organization. He is a great teammate and one of the all-time great Falcons, we thank Roddy for everything he has meant to this organization and we wish him success as he continues his career.”

While Dimitroff’s comments on White seemed pretty sincere, head coach Dan Quinn’s words seemed much more drenched in hyperbole. The Falcons’ new head coach spent just a year with White, and as mentioned above, it wasn’t a good one. Despite that, Quinn called the receiver one of the greatest competitors he’s ever been around.

“Roddy is one of the best competitors and warriors I have ever been around,” Quinn said. “He was one of the first players I reached out to when I was hired here, and I want to thank him for his professionalism and leadership. Although this was a difficult decision, we feel this is best for everyone as we continue to put this team together, not just for the 2016 season, but for the future as well.”

For his part, White says he still wants to play a couple more seasons, but it’s unlikely there will be much of a market for the veteran wide out. It will be interesting to see if and where he lands, and how much of an impact he can be. The speed just isn’t there anymore, and unless a team is looking for a veteran to lead the wide receiver room, White just doesn’t bring a lot of value to the table anymore.

Alex Mack voids contract with Browns to become a free agent:

Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack had three years left on his deal at $8 million per, with $8 million guaranteed, but he decided to void the final three years of his deal to become a free agent on Wednesday.

While the Cleveland center has made comments about being excited about the direction of the Browns under new head coach Hue Jackson, this move was an absolute no brainer.

At 30, Mack is sure to land a deal for more than the $8 million annually he just declined by voiding his current deal. Something he certainly would not have had an opportunity to do three years from now when the deal was up. This gives Mack an opportunity to land one last big deal in the NFL, and that’s something the 30-year-old center couldn’t pass up.

Considering he seems impressed with the direction of the team, there’s a decent chance Mack remains in Cleveland, but the Browns should have plenty of competition to sign the center who would be an upgrade at the position for most teams.

We could probably spend less time talking about the teams where Mack isn’t a fit as opposed to where he is, so let’s just say there should be plenty of interest. Cleveland is among the teams with plenty of cap room to keep Mack in town, and as we’ve seen from them already, they’re not afraid to step up to the plate as they did after the Jacksonville Jaguars signed Mack to an offer sheet when the Browns placed the transition tag on him two years ago.

Joe Flacco signs three-year extension with the Ravens:

The Baltimore Ravens opened up about $6 million of cap space on Wednesday by reworking Joe Flacco’s deal and signing the quarterback to a three-year extension, locking up the quarterback in Baltimore through 2021.

This deal had to happen because of the big, back loaded contract Flacco signed after leading the Ravens to a Super Bowl championship in 2013. Flacco’s contract had him carrying a massive 28.6-million-dollar cap number for 2016.

Baltimore is towards the bottom of the league in cap space for 2016, and this move gives them a little more flexibility as the team heads into the new league year, and hopes to resign a couple of their own impending free agents like stand-out guard Kelechi Osemele, and linebacker Courtney Upshaw.

Flacco is coming off of a torn ACL, so this new deal is a sign of the Ravens’ belief in his recovery, as well as a bit of security for the quarterback who received a $40 million signing bonus in the pact.

Security is good, but for Flacco, he says this new deal is about another opportunity to win a championship in the Charm City.

“When it comes down to it in this league it’s all about winning football games, Flacco said at the press conference to announce his new deal. “Once this thing is signed and over with that’s all that we’re worried about, and I think this gives us the best chance to move forward over the next five years, six years it’s a huge window to go win another Super Bowl. Another two, another three, whatever it may be.”

The Ravens roster has a long way to go before they’re ready to compete for another Super Bowl, but Flacco’s new deal gives them some flexibility to help build that roster in 2016.


About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.