The answer was made clear Wednesday when the Falcons announced the release of the franchise's career receiving leader after 11 seasons.
"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," Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a lengthy statement.
"I have developed a special relationship with him over the years, my children have grown admiring him and our partners and I all share a debt of gratitude for what he has meant to us and our team. Truly, there are no words to adequately express my thanks for all he has meant to me, my family, the Falcons and to this community, both on and off the field. He has been a difference-maker in every way and has touched numerous lives here in Atlanta.
"Roddy will forever be part of the Falcons family and I'm confident our fans will always remember and be grateful for the exemplary way he has represented them over the last 11 years. We wish him nothing but the very best and, on a personal level, we look forward to a lifetime relationship with Roddy and his family.
"It is always a challenge to balance how we feel about a particular player with the implications of the salary cap, as well as the clear commitment we have to our fans and stakeholders to assemble a championship-caliber roster each and every year. After a lot of discussion with Thomas (Dimitroff), Dan (Quinn) and others, the difficult decision we've made today was ultimately driven by the need to address some key areas on our roster and ultimately to meet that commitment."
White, a first-round draft pick in 2005, has 808 catches for 10,863 yards and 63 touchdowns during his career. He also has compiled the most 100-yard receiving games (39) and six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.
Last season, White totaled 43 receptions for 506 yards and one touchdown. He was under contract for two more seasons.
"Decisions like these are always difficult, but this was one of the most difficult decisions I have been a part of in my years of football," Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. "We have a tremendous amount of respect and gratitude for what Roddy has meant to this community and organization. He is a great teammate and one of the all-time great Falcons. We thank Roddy for everything he has meant to this organization and we wish him success as he continues his career."
White's numbers also rank among the NFL leaders. He is eighth in career receiving yards, ninth in receptions and 10th in touchdowns.
"Roddy is one of the best competitors and warriors I have ever been around," Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. "He was one of the first players I reached out to when I was hired here, and I want to thank him for his professionalism and leadership. Although this was a difficult decision, we feel this is best for everyone as we continue to put this team together, not just for the 2016 season, but for the future as well."