Sam Baker was released by the Falcons today. Baker was selected 21st overall by the Falcons in the 2008 and got off to a promising start to his career. He started in 61 games in his 6 seasons with the Falcons and had a terrific season in 2012 leading to a big contract, but unfortunately injuries derailed his career. Baker spent most of the last two seasons on IR, including the whole 2014 season with a torn patellar tendon. Baker was replaced last season by rookie Jake Mathews, who performed well enough to take Baker’s job for good. It was rumored that Baker could be candidate for one of the interior line positions, but it looks like all is lost for Baker as a Falcon. Baker’s track record should make him a candidate for other positions around the league.
The Falcons will be taking a lot of dead money due to Baker’s large contract. They will reportedly eat around 9 million dollars of Baker’s contract over the next two years, but the move does open up the possibility of more players coming into the organization. Evan Mathis was released by the Eagles last week, and while Chris Chester was just signed, I would not be surprised to see the Falcons dangle some money in front of Mathis. Hopefully the price is right, but for now the Falcons and their fans wish Baker nothing but the best in his recovery and pursuit of other jobs in the NFL.