Roddy White cut after 11 seasons with Atlanta Falcons

After a contentious 2015, the Falcons are moving on from Roddy White, the greatest receiver in franchise history.

The team made an official announcement Wednesday afternoon.

White was a first-round draft pick by the team in 2005 and went on to catch 808 passes for a franchise best 10,863 yards. His 2015 season ended with just 43 catches for 506 yards and one touchdown.

"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 Thomas Dimitroff said in a statement released by the team. "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."

Added head coach Dan Quinn: "Roddy is one of the best competitors and warriors I have ever been around. 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."

White was not shy about expressing his displeasure with Atlanta's offense a year ago. In a moment of frustration midway through the 2015 campaign, White talked about how he had slipped below Leonard Hankerson in most progressions, leaving him as a third option for quarterback Matt Ryan.

"For me, at the end of the day, I want to catch passes," White told "I'm not out here just (expletive) around just to sit around to just block (expletive) people all day. It's not what I want to do.

"I've contributed to offenses for this franchise for the last nine, 10 years. It always bothers me when I go out and don't catch any balls in a game because it hasn't happened in so long."

There were rumors about White possibly being available at the trade deadline, though nothing came to fruition.

At the moment, there should be a place on several rosters for a player who ranks in the top 10 among all active wideouts in receptions, yards and all-time touchdowns (63). White has been to four Pro Bowls, the last in 2011. The market for veteran wide receiver help is always interesting, though the acquisition of James Jones was a game-changer for Green Bay a year ago. White might be picked up in free agency like Greg Jennings in Miami, or he could take time to mull his offers and wait for the perfect opportunity.

White has been a good teammate and running mate to Julio Jones over the years, which was likely what made the decision to release him so difficult. White was set to cost a little more than $6 million against Atlanta's salary cap this year.

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