Originally posted on Grits Blitz  |  Last updated 2/16/13
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
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rams WR Stedman Bailey in hospital after being shot in head

Furious Brad Stevens blasts Celtics after lackluster game

Did Bryce Harper deserve the MVP?

Duke 5-star commit posts moving message after successful surgery

Ex-LSU commit still supports Les Miles

Report: Ray Lewis gave Bills pregame pep talk


Report: Marshawn Lynch out a few weeks to recover

Peyton Manning to miss at least two more weeks

Notre Dame DT: Committee 'spit in our faces' with ranking

LaRon Landry suspended indefinitely by NFL

Don’t blame Mike Pettine for benching Johnny Manziel. Blame Johnny.

Danny Ainge: Celtics’ Marcus Smart has shown ‘propensity to get injured’

Nick Young seems to take shot at Kobe Bryant

WATCH: College basketball player makes 3-pointer while wobbly from concussion

The five most overrated teams in the Week 13 coaches' poll

Clemson WR calls South Carolina fans 'rude'

Jonathan Lucroy trade market bolstered by weak catching market

Michigan State lists two starting QBs on depth chart

10 storylines for Week 13 of the college football season

LISTEN: Browns fan cries on radio while ripping Johnny Manziel

Texas A&M QB Kyle Allen says he was injured vs. Alabama

Report: Maple Leafs are no longer the NHL’s most valuable franchise

Ranking the 10 best games of 2015 college football rivalry week

Did a Chipotle employee convince Danny Ainge to trade for Isaiah Thomas?

Bud Black joins Angels organization as special assistant to GM

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The five most overrated teams in the Week 13 coaches' poll

10 storylines for Week 13 of the college football season

Ranking the 10 best games of 2015 college football rivalry week

Examining the Mavericks' hot start

Johnny Bench(ed): Manziel demoted to third string

Mike Trout, four years in

Tom Brady on ‘Rex Ryan!’ line call: It’s ‘in the playbook’

Five NFL teams trending downward

Not so fast, USC: Eagles Chip Kelly buys Philly-area home

The five best hockey fights from Week 7

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker