Falcons Now Faced With The Future


ATLANTA, Ga.— The season has come to an end with the Atlanta Falcons finishing the year 8-8, following a 20-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints. All this means, is that the offseason is now here.

So, what is next? Who stays and who goes?

These are questions that are continually asked inside NFL locker room’s after the season comes to an end. The Falcons seemingly have this question coming their direction even more, with their third straight season ending without a playoff berth.

Sure, there is the thought that general manager Thomas Dimitroff’s future with the organization is in doubt. There are also many players that could be on shaky ground, in terms of their future with the team.

One of those players, is veteran wide receiver Roddy White. That said, he’s not concerned about what the future holds.

“I’m going to be a Falcon next year and we’ll roll from there,” White said. “I don’t too much think about that, me not being here or anything like that. I’ve been here for a very long time and I’d just like to extend my stay.”

White is due to make about $6.1 million dollars next season and his number of catches went down to 42, for his third worst career season in that category. You would have to believe that the Falcons would maybe explore options at bolstering the offense in the draft or free agency.

As of right now, the Falcons will have five draft picks coming up in late April (barring an compensatory picks), with their fifth round pick stripped by the NFL for the crowd noise issue and sixth rounder in the possession of the Tennessee Titans in a trade for offensive lineman Andy Levitre.

The Falcons could decide to free up some cap space and go after players like outside linebacker Von Miller or wide receiver Alshon Jeffery to attempt to bolster both sides of the ball. That means that some veteran players would likely not be back and White would possibly be one of those guys.

White says he’s seen and understands that the NFL is fully a business.

“It’s the NFL and changes are going to be made,” White said. “That’s what it is. It’s been going on for a very long time. If changes happen, then I’ll have to deal with it when it comes to that point. Until then, I’m just rolling.”

There is no doubt that his fellow wide receiver teammate Julio Jones isn’t one of these players in danger of being moved over the offseason. The Falcons if anything would want to build around him.

Even though he’s not in danger of being anywhere but Atlanta, Julio still knows that new faces will find their way to the team facility over the offseason.

“Definitely this team is going to change,” Jones said. “You don’t know who is leaving and who is coming. It’s all about that impact you can have on that persons life.”

Players like Roddy and Julio have seen seasons change and the players with it in the NFL. But what about the younger guys like rookie outside linebacker Vic Beasley Jr.?

Even though he’s only been here a year, he knows that changes come in the NFL.

“It’s the nature of this game and of this business,” Beasley said. “You develop relationships with guys that may last for a lifetime and you’ve just got to continue to keep in touch with those guys.”

There is no doubt that as the months get closer to the spring and summer that we’ll be talking with you about players leaving and players coming to Atlanta. It could be weird to ask though… Is this maybe the final game we’ve seen of guys like Roddy White in a Falcons uniform?

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