Falcons all-time leading receiver Roddy White announced his retirement on his Twitter account Friday.
White was released by the team after the 2016 season and was not signed by another team last season.
“Also thanks to everyone for the congrats on my new gig and I’m going to have a lot of fun with these young kids and win some game(s),” White wrote. “… officially retired from football and welcome the … second phase of my life. I would like to thank Arthur Blank and the (F)alcons organization for a great 11 years. The city of Atlanta I love y’all so much.”
White will join the football coaching staff at Johns Creek High School.
White didn’t immediately return a call to his cellphone.
White will go down in history as one of the franchise’s great players. The four-time Pro Bowler will certainly be added to the team’s Ring of Honor.
“Roddy is one of the greatest players to ever put on a Falcons uniform, and even more importantly he is a man of tremendous character that I and my entire family have profound personal affection and respect for,” Blank said after White was released in March 2016. “I have developed a special relationship with him over the years.”
White was selected by the Falcons in the first round (27th overall) of the 2005 NFL draft from UAB. After a slow start to his career, White developed into the franchise’s most prolific receiver during the league’s evolution into more of a passing league.
White amassed 808 catches, 10,863 yards and 63 touchdowns over 11 seasons with the Falcons.
White and Kyle Shanahan, the new Falcons offensive coordinator, didn’t see eye-to-eye in 2016. His production dipped to 43 catches. He was used as a decoy early in the season in favor of Leonard Hankerson, a player who later was released, and never really became comfortable in the new offense.
White had slowed with age and wear. He went from 125 targets and 80 catches with seven touchdowns in 2014 to 70 targets and 43 catches with one touchdown in 2015.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and White became one of the league’s more productive duos from 2008-12, when White averaged 96 catches per season. He led the league with 115 catches in 2010 and followed up with 100 catches in 2011.
White appeared to be interfered with on the fourth-down play in the NFC Championship game against San Francisco on Jan. 20, 2013, that could have propelled the team to its second Super Bowl appearance.
The Falcons would later go on to reach the Super Bowl last season, without White.
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