Roddy White hopes to finish career with Falcons

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons veteran wide receiver Roddy White, who has seen his role diminish under new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, dismissed the notion that Sunday's season finale against New Orleans at the Georgia Dome could be his last appearance with the team.

"I'm under contract, so as long as I'm under contract, then I'm going to be an Atlanta Falcon," he said.

White, 34, is signed through the 2017 season. He is the franchise's all-time leading receiver with 807 receptions for 10,853 yards and 63 touchdowns. But this year, White has just 42 catches for 496 yards and a touchdown and was targeted just once with no catches in back-to-back games against the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. White averaged 88.25 receptions and 1,175.6 receiving yards per season the previous eight seasons.

White, a first-round draft pick of the Falcons in 2005 out of UAB, wouldn't speculate on what could happen next year.

"I have no idea how next year's going to be," White said. "I have no idea. I'm just going to take it in and try to finish as strong as possible, get myself ready to go for next year. Whatever happens after that, happens."

White was asked whether he could envision himself playing for another team.

"I plan on being a Falcon forever," he responded. "That's what they told me. That's where my heart is. That's where my mind's at."

Falcons coach Dan Quinn, who has control over the 53-man roster, will have to decide whether White should be part of the team's future plans. Quinn has been adamant about the veteran being an integral part of the team. And White showed during Sunday's 20-13 upset of Carolina that he still had some juice left, catching five passes for 67 yards.

"I'm always going to play like that until I can be done with this game, period," White said. "That's just how I play football. From this day forward, I just want to finish the season as strong as possible."

White, who signed a three-year, $18 million contract extension last year ($7.55 million guaranteed), is due a reasonable base salary of $2.75 million next season that has a total cash value of $4.25 million, which is around the average for No. 2 receivers. His cap number would be $6,043,750 in '16.

White isn't thinking about financial terms. He just wants to be a Falcon. And he knows how many more years he wants to play in the NFL, at least.

"I want to play until the new stadium comes out," White said of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, set to open in 2017. "That would be my idea, to walk out of that locker room and come out of the tunnel in the new stadium and play a game there. That would be great, if that happens."

Quarterback Matt Ryan offered his thoughts about White, his teammate since 2008.

"He's the best [and] has been for a long time, since I've been here," Ryan said. "Second to none. He's as great a competitor as I've ever been around and as good a player as there is, but even better in the locker room; just a great teammate, good friend. And I'm hoping that it keeps going a long time."