Roddy White firmly believes he can be an elite receiver in the NFL as long as he remains healthy. If the Atlanta Falcons receiver backs his claim, he might earn a lot more money before he finishes his NFL career.
White, who turns 33 in November, signed a four-year extension on Thursday worth a maximum value of $30 million.
The full details of White's contract should be available in the coming days, but he told ESPN.com the contract includes escalators in 2017 and 2018 tied to his catch total.
According to White, he could add another $2 million to his base salaries in 2017 and 2018 by catching 80 passes, likely in the year prior. White said he could add another $3 million to his base salaries in those two years by catching 90 to 100 passes. It's unclear exactly what White's base salaries are in '17 and '18.
Of course, meeting such incentives will be tough for an aging receiver, but White seemed optimistic regardless. He had 80-plus catches in six of his first nine seasons and surpassed 100 catches in back-to-to-back seasons (2011, 2012).
Julio Jones will be the focal point of the offense moving forward, provided he is fully recovered from foot surgery. The added attention Jones is likely to draw from opposing defenses should open up more opportunities for White. Plus the loss of tight end Tony Gonzalez to retirement means more of an emphasis on both Jones and White in the passing game.
But White still has a significant challenge ahead of him if he hopes to reach those escalators. He pointed to Reggie Wayne as motivation. Wayne, at the age of 33, caught 106 passes in 2012 for the Indianapolis Colts.
We'll see if White can max out his contract. He already earned the guaranteed money he sought all along.
"I'm getting a roster bonus this year of $3 million and my base is going to be $2 million, and then they're going to give me $5.5 million in March," White said. "So the for the next nine months, I'm going to get $10.5 million."
That's a guarantee.