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

Arizona Cardinals make Jen Welter first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Junior Seau family says Hall of Fame went back on its word

Kobe will probably see time at power forward next year

Angels acquire Shane Victorino from the Red Sox

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Clemson's Swinney wants Notre Dame in a conference

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel as Browns starter

David Price won't rule out Red Sox despite testy past

Bullying victim Jonathan Martin retiring from NFL

Why Jay Gruden may lose job if he can’t fix Robert Griffin III

Report: T.Y. Hilton wants similar contract to Dez Bryant

Nick Saban has incredible advice for his players on chasing girls

Nik Stauskas trolls Thad Matta

Will Smith fires back at former teammate Junior Galette

Sammy Watkins: It's a "problem" if Bills don't win AFC East

The most important quarterback in the game?

Boston Mayor Walsh refusing to sign Olympic host contract

Chris Johnson accused of smashing up Rolls-Royce rental

Astros’ playoff push prompts rescheduling of Taylor Swift

Answering the AFC East's biggest questions in 2015

Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

College football's top 10 coaches on the hot seat for 2015

Was Gregg Popovich close to retiring last year?

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

Cardinals hire first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Galette appears to unload on Payton

Dez Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

Top 10 CFB coaches on the hot seat

Was Popovich close to retiring last year?

Kyle Busch continues historic run with Brickyard win

WATCH: Mike Trout HR lands in 'Trout Net'

With Cueto dealt, what's the market for other pitchers?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker