Originally written on Grits Blitz  |  Last updated 2/16/13
Gettyimageproxy.ashx_requesturl_http_3a_2f_2fcache.gettyimages.com_2fxc_2f83289327.jpg_3fv_3d1_26c_3dewsasset_26k_3d2_26d_3d17a4ad9fdb9cf193589acfe00af9405445fd114d93d3b985
The Falcons are facing a lot of decisions this off-season and that starts with their 14 unrestricted free agents. We will go through them one by one and decide whether or not the Falcons should re-sign them. A lot of times it's not as easy as it looks as some decisions have more than just roster spot implications. We also have to think about the salary cap as it is expected to increase by just $200,000 this season.  One question presented by this offseason is whether Sam Baker should be kept by the Atlanta Falcons. Taking the opposite career path as Jake Long, Baker struggled early in his career with injuries and ineffectiveness only to play his best football during 2012.   Baker has long been a weak spot for the Falcons and frequently blamed for our offensive inconsistencies. In 2011, Baker was injured and finally benched in favor or journeyman tackle Will Svitek. Thomas Dimitroff then used Atlanta's second pick on big bodied tackle Lamar Holmes.   It seemed a safe bet that Baker was going to be cut going into 2012. Instead he stayed healthy and played the entire season. Comparatively good for Baker but no one will confuse him with an elite pass protector.   Price may be the deciding factor with Baker. It is hard to imagine he thinks he should be paid like a top tackle and should appreciate the patience Smitty has had with him. Very likely is Baker may see what other teams are willing to pay him and return to Atlanta for a team friendly deal. In fact, there are multiple left tackles expected to become free agents this offseason with Pro Football Focus rating Sam Baker seventh and I struggle arguing he should be much higher.   Verdict: The Falcons will resign Baker to a low-risk deal with limited guaranteed money. Baker is not in a position to drive a hard bargain with so many tackles available and Lamar Houston waiting in the wings. Baker has a chance to improve his play and show he can stay healthy in hopes of signing a bigger deal down the road, similar to Laron Landry's low-risk deal with the Jets. Anything more than that would spell the end of Baker's time in Atlanta.     Free Agent Decisions: Chase Coffman Garrett Reynolds Mike Cox Luke McCown Will Svitek
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kobe responds to Aldridge report with funny meme

One pitch away: Carrasco loses no-hitter in bottom of the 9th

England loses World Cup semifinal to Japan in heartbreaking fashion

Braxton Miller had 'successful' check-up visit

Raptors signing Carroll is shrewdest move of free agency

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Los Angeles Clippers will sign Paul Pierce

With Kevin Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Aldridge crosses Lakers off list, did not mesh well with Kobe

Jerry Dipoto officially steps down as Angels GM

Report: Rajon Rondo wants 'all of' Kings' $10M cap space

Reports: Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson returning to Cavs

David West explains why he opted out of Pacers contract

Warriors, Draymond Green agree to 5-year, $85 million deal

Twins call up top prospect Miguel Sano

Robert Griffin III speaks at UN to advocate for protecting oceans

Cavaliers re-sign Iman Shumpert to four-year contract

Mike Green is joining the Red Wings on a three-year deal

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans until 2020

ESPN denies censoring Keith Olbermann commentary

The best and worst MLB players in the month of June

Report: Lakers didn’t make strong impression on Aldridge

Danny Green takes the Andre Iguodala path

DeSean Jackson rips Eagles in new reality TV show

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Selecting the 2015 AL All-Stars

NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Under the radar NBA free agents

Michael Sam, boyfriend broke up?

Mickelson linked to money laundering?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.