Roddy White previously declared his desire to be a Falcon for life as he enters the final year of his contract.
As the 32-year-old receiver inches closer to a contract extension with the Atlanta Falcons, White told ESPN.com just how much longer he intends to play football.
"How many more years? I think three or four,’’ he said. "I don’t want to be an ironman like Tony [Gonzalez]. He was blessed to go through his stint in the NFL because 17 seasons is a long time to play football, man. I was thinking if I could just get 10, I’ll be all right.’’
White just completed his ninth year after being drafted in the first round in 2005. This season, he struggled through ankle and hamstring injuries early on but finished strong, even despite some uncharacteristic drops in the season finale against Carolina.
White was third on the team with 63 catches for 711 yards and three touchdowns. He caught 43 passes for 502 yards and two scores over the final five games.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff seemed more than willing to extend White’s contract this offseason.
"Roddy’s made it very clear that he wants to be back here for the duration of his career and he’s obviously been a beyond-fine football player for us,’’ Dimitroff said. "So we’re hoping that he will be able to do that.’’
Signing White to an extension would allow the Falcons to lower his $6.325 million cap number for next season, providing some cap relief as the team tries to fix the broken offensive and defensive lines.
In November, White vowed not to focus on his contract until after the season. Now, he can talk freely about it.
"I hope it gets done,’’ White said. "If it doesn’t, I have one year left on my contract. I’ll play it out and I’ll go from there. But I want to be here, no doubt about it. I’ve spent my whole career here. And I love the organization. I love everyone in it. So that will be the next step. But I do know this is a business. Things happen.’’