The decision of the Falcons to give quarterback Mike Vick and receiver Roddy White a joint retirement reception without one-day contracts or any other individualized honors created the impression that the team didn’t want to give either guy the full and complete retirement treatment. That impression could be incorrect.
Owner Arthur Blank said during Monday’s event that their numbers (7 and 84 respectively) could still be retired, and their names could be added to the team’s Ring of Honor.
“We have a process that we have to go through with that, and certainly, given their records as Falcons players and their careers, they would certainly be considered for that,” Blank said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com.
White would seem to be more deserving of the distinction than Vick, given that Vick spent only six seasons with the team, generating a regular-season record of 38-28-1 as a starter and 1-2 in a pair of trips to the playoffs. His final season with the team consisted of wildly inconsistent performances, culminating in a losing record, a middle finger to the home crowd, and in early 2007 the discovery of a clandestine dogfighting operation at his rural Virginia property.
“I care if I get my jersey hanging up,” White told McClure. “Yes, I do want that. At this point, I’m the franchise’s all-time leading receiver. And I probably played one of the longest tenures as a Falcon. I’ve been pretty successful. Deep down in my heart, I would love that. I want it all. Yes, I want my jersey retired. The Ring of Honor, I think that goes along with it.”
Via ESPN, Falcons have had their numbers retired by the team: 10 (Steve Bartkowski); 31 (William Andrews); 57 (Jeff Van Note); 58 (Jessie Tuggle); 60 (Tommy Nobis); and 78 (Mike Kenn). Those players are in the team’s Ring of Honor, along with Claude Humphrey, Deion Sanders, and Gerald Riggs. (Other resources suggest that only Bartkowski, Andrews, Van Note, and Nobis have had their numbers retired.)
Current members of the franchise who seem to be destined for placement in the Ring of Honor and/or retirement of their numbers are quarterback Matt Ryan and receiver Julio Jones.