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
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Blake Griffin opts out of contract to become free agent

Report: Wolves targeting Kyle Lowry, Jrue Holiday, other point guards in free agency

Conor McGregor’s coach says tentative plans include a return to UFC in 2017

Report: Mets open for business on the trade market

Markelle Fultz believes the Sixers are already a playoff team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jimmy Butler’s attitude toward Fred Hoiberg made players ‘uncomfortable’

St. Louis Cardinals to hold first LGBTQ Pride Night

John Mara: Extending Odell Beckham Jr. isn’t team’s No. 1 priority

Mike Trout reportedly wanted to sign ‘lifetime deal’ with Angels

Blackhawks, Blue Jackets swap Artemi Panarin, Brandon Saad

Matt Forte expected to be ‘offensive workhorse’ for Jets?

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

Box Score 6/23: Philly continues to trust the process

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the 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

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

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