Falcons coach thinks Roddy White could join Bucs
Could veteran receiver Roddy White, released by the Falcons on Wednesday, reunite with former Atlanta offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and sign with the Bucs as a free agent? Falcons coach Dan Quinn seems to think so.
"Any time you go through the process, you have to expect that, knowing somebody's history with a certain player," Quinn told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after Wednesday's release. "I wouldn't be surprised if Roddy ends up on another club just south on I-75. If that happens, it happens not just with our club, but other clubs."
Could the 34-year-old White be a match for the Bucs? Koetter was Atlanta's offensive coordinator from 2012-14, and in those seasons, White averaged 78 catches for 994 yards and six touchdowns. His production dropped off last season after Koetter went to the Bucs, with only one touchdown catch.
The Bucs, however, have plenty of depth at receiver behind third-year pro Mike Evans, and have stated their commitment to bringing 33-year-old Vincent Jackson back this fall. Another veteran, Louis Murphy, is 28 and coming off ACL surgery, and it's unlikely the team would keep a third veteran at the expense of younger receivers like Kenny Bell (coming off a hamstring injury) and Adam Humphries. Russell Shepard, who plays receiver but earns his keep primarily in special-teams coverage, is a restricted free agent expected to be tendered by the Bucs for 2016.
White's longevity with the Falcons has made him a familiar foe for Bucs fans, but his career numbers against Tampa Bay aren't anything dominating. In 20 games against the Bucs, he's totaled 82 catches for 1,045 yards and four career touchdowns -- in comparable games, he has nine touchdowns against the Saints and 10 against the Panthers. That could make him want to stay in division with familiar opponents.
Much as former Bears were often linked to the Bucs under Lovie Smith, available ex-Falcons will likely get the same treatment for the Bucs, with not only Koetter but defensive coordinator Mike Smith having strong Atlanta ties. The Bucs were mentioned as an option for former Falcons safety William Moore, who has yet to visit or sign anywhere after being released by Atlanta two weeks ago.