The sense of restrained jubilation engulfing the Falcons and their fans has been tempered by the ongoing absence of receiver Roddy White.
The fifth-year wideout, a first-round pick in 2005, is still absent as of Monday; the team was required to report to training camp on Friday.
White is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Absent a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, White would be a restricted free agent only in 2010.
That reality could be keeping the two sides from properly gauging his value in light of his total leverage. Per a league source, another potential complication arises from a perceived personality conflict between key members of the Falcons’ front office and White’s agents, Jonathan Feinsod and Neil Schwartz.
As another league source told us, if there’s any issue between the team and the agents, it’s from the team’s perspective and not the agents’ perspective.
White faces daily fines during the holdout, which by our calculations exceed $17,000. (We’re checking that, since the Atlanta Journal-Constitution puts the number at $15,888.) White also faces the potential forfeiture of 25 percent of his 2009 signing-bonus allocation.
And if he skips out on any preseason games, he can be fined the amount of a 2009 game check for each exhibition contest he misses.