Blank leaves door open for retiring Vick, White numbers

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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

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.

12 responses to “Blank leaves door open for retiring Vick, White numbers

  1. I can somewhat understand retiring White’s number, but Vick? I mean, I’m not sure he did enough to really deserve that. Criminal charges aside, he only played with them for six years, leading them to a WHOPPING two trips to the playoffs. And don’t get me started on his quarterback play…

  2. With 11 seasons played and 10k+ receiving yards White has a legit case for the ring of honor, not so sure about retiring his number. But the same honor for Vick would make a mockery of the whole concept. He was 9 games over .500 and departed in disgrace after lying to the owner when asked about his activities. Are they that desperate for something to celebrate? When did the Falcons turn into the Colts?

  3. What? No objective observer would think he deserves his number to be retired. He never threw for 3,000 yards as a Falcon (high was 2,936). Threw for 20 TDs once. His highest completion % was 56.4%. Only played a full season once. Highest rating? 81.6.

    He wouldn’t belong in a ring of honour or have his number retired even without the offfield garbage.

    Yeah, I get he was a difference maker with his feet at a time when that was unusual. But sheesh, when you are putting guys like that in your ring of honour it kind of tells you something about how bad your franchise has been.

  4. Wow, Vick and White can get their numbers retired?
    Talk about a low bar to reach in Atlanta for such an honor. I can conceded a ring of honor, maybe. As for White hanging on for 11yrs. His last 1K yrds receiving season was in 2012. He only broke 1K yrs in 6 of his 11 season with the Falcons. Julio is only 3K yrd behind White in total yrds. Julio is at 7,454 in 6 season, while White is at 10,863 in 11 seasons. So White won’t hold the most club rec yrds for much longer.
    But it is Mr. Blanks company and he can do what he wishes.

  5. Vick’s contributions (minus criminal charges) was that he was the most electric player in football when he had a Falcon’s uniform on.

    He had major accuracy issues, but he did things under center and out of the gun that made NFL defenders look like fans.

    I think retiring his number is a bit extreme, though.

  6. I understand the logic behind White over Vick, but as a non-Falcon fan, I gotta say, when I think of the 2000’s Falcons, I think Michael Vick and his explosive play. I don’t think of Roddy White, and actually forgot that he was even on the league. Just saying.

  7. Ring of Honor is one thing, but retiring numbers should only be for the all-time greats… Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Manning, Favre, Emmitt, Walter Payton, etc. NONE of the guys on the Falcons list.

  8. At least Chris Chandler took them to a 14-2 regular season and Super Bowl appearance. What did Vick accomplish on the field? I’ve never understood all the love that guy got. In pro football, the excitement of “you never know what he’s going to do” is NOT a good thing; it loses as many games as it wins.

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