Atlanta Falcons left tackle Sam Baker is a free agent and I can see points to make about the idea of re-upping with him and points to make sbout the idea of leting him go. 2012 was his best as a pro for the former first rounder and his play seemed to dip a tad as the season wore on, but he is just 27 years old (28 when next season begins). The Falcons have to figure out if he is finally headed towards reaching his potential, or if it’s a good time to move on considering the girth of linemen available in free-agency and the NFL draft.
The Falcons will be hoping that Tony Gonzalez reconsiders his retirement (article on that is here) and one way or the other once they get his final decision they will know how much free-agent cash they have to spend. Either way I think the Falcons will let Baker test the market as A) the amount of linemen available may force his contract demands to get lower, which could bring him closer to the amount that ATL would be comfortable paying him and B) they are likely not overly concerned about being overbid and losing Baker since replacements exist.
I am concerned that Baker’s career has likely been a disappointment so far, and as mentioned before, he did seem to regress late in the season, plus there are guys out there who are attainable and could actually be an upgrade over Baker. I would not be in a hurry to re-up with the big fella. I would let that scenario play itself out and adjust accordingly. It would hardily be a blunder to bring Baker back, but call me Bob Barker because as far as I am concerned, the Falcons need to be sure that the price is right.