After missing first week of camp, Falcons WR Roddy White agrees to contract extension

By Paul Newberry, AP
Sunday, August 9, 2009

Falcons WR White agrees to contract extension

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. —After holding out for the first week of training camp, receiver Roddy White agreed to a new $50 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday night.

A source familiar with the deal, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team does not release contract terms, told The Associated Press that White’s deal was for six years and included $18.6 million in guaranteed money. He will become one of the NFL’s highest-paid receivers, though short of Larry Fitzgerald’s $10 million-a-year deal with Arizona.

White had a career-best 88 receptions and set a franchise record with 1,382 receiving yards last season, ranking fourth in the NFL. He earned his first Pro Bowl appearance while becoming the first Falcons receiver in a decade to post back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns and the first in club history to tally back-to-back 1,200-yard seasons.

But entering the final year of a contract that would have paid him $2.28 million, the former first-round pick decided to hold out for a long-term deal. He got what he wanted, eliminating the possibility of becoming a restricted free agent in 2010.

“We’re always going to be an organization that rewards players that are productive on the field and good citizens off it,” general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “We’re glad to have Roddy’s contract situation resolved. We look forward to a long association with him.”

Getting White in camp was a top priority for the Matt Ryan-led offense, especially after third receiver Harry Douglas was lost for the season after tearing up his knee during a routine drill.

The Falcons signed Marty Booker and Robert Ferguson after Douglas went down, but only with backup roles in mind. They’ll compete with Brian Finneran for the slots behind starters White and Michael Jenkins.

White was subject to fines of $15,888 a day during his eight-day holdout. He is expected to be in camp for two practices Monday.

Associated Press Writer George Henry contributed to this report.

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