The Falcons moved Thursday to ensure that Roddy White will finish his career in an Atlanta Falcons uniform.
The team announced a three-year extension that will keep the veteran wide receiver under contract for the next four seasons. The deal is worth $30 million with escalators and White now will earn just under $11 million this season, a source involved in the process told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. White, 32, was set to enter the final season of a six-year, $48 million contract.
Rapoport first reported last November that White and the Falcons expected to hammer out a "reasonable" long-term extension during the 2014 offseason.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff told Around The League in February that he would wait to address the contract status of White and Julio Jones until after free agency and the 2014 NFL Draft.
As Gregg Rosenthal pointed out at the time, the Falcons wanted White to agree to a Terrell Suggs-like extension that will lower his cap number as he enters the decline phase of his career.
The new deal will provide White with added security. It's also a tacit acknowledgement that the four-time Pro Bowl selection still has the potential for a few more 1,000-yard seasons after a high-ankle sprain and hamstring injury kept him from reaching that mark last year for the first time since 2006.
Once he finally got back to full health late last season, White averaged 12 targets, 8.6 receptions and 100.4 yards over the final five games. Those numbers compare favorably to his 2007-to-2012 per-game averages of 9.8 targets, 5.9 receptions and 81 yards.
Now that White is locked up for the foreseeable future, the next step is rewarding Julio Jones with a lucrative long-team contract.
Jones has stated confidently that he will not reach free agency in 2015. As he's coming off the second major foot surgery of his young career, the Falcons will likely take a wait-and-see approach during the coming season.
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