More than a full year after he played his final NFL game, Roddy White officially announced his retirement Friday.
White, who spent his entire 11-year career with the Atlanta Falcons, was among the league’s best wide receivers from 2007 to 2012, posting six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and earning four Pro Bowl selections. He also garnered first-team All-Pro honors in 2010 after catching a career-high 115 passes for 1,389 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The 35-year-old’s production decreased late in his career, however, and after he tallied just 406 receiving yards and one touchdown in 2015, the Falcons released him. He has been out of football ever since.
Sitting out the 2016 season wasn’t White’s first choice, though. He revealed Friday he had hoped to sign with the New England Patriots before the season but never was offered a contract.
Coincidentally, the Patriots went on to defeat White’s former team in Super Bowl LI.
“I wanted to go down there and play for Coach (Bill) Belichick,” White told ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure on Friday. “I think it was 2012, we practiced against them for like a whole a week. I learned a lot just practicing against those guys — how they conducted their business every day and how they just got ready for practice.
“Just evaluating their coaching staff and how they handled plays and how Tom Brady went out there and went through things … you wanted to be a part of that and just be in the building. So many people want to get there with New England. Not just me, but people around the league because they’ve got something special going on there.”
Though his NFL career now is in the rear-view mirror, White isn’t giving up football entirely. He plans to spend the upcoming season coaching wide receivers and tight ends at Johns Creek High School in suburban Atlanta.
“I had so many people asking me if I was coming back and if I wanted to play, so no, I’m officially done,” White told ESPN. “I’m totally committed to this second phase of my life.”
Thumbnail photo via Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports Images