Atlanta Falcons Release Tackle Sam Baker

By Vincent Frank

After two consecutive injury-plagued seasons, the Atlanta Falcons have released former starting left tackle Sam Baker. The former first-round pick has started just four games in the past two years after being a staple in the team’s starting lineup for the previous five years.

Baker, 30, missed the entire 2014 season after undergoing surgery on a torn patellar tendon in his knee. He also missed all but four games of the 2013 campaign with another knee injury.

Set to earn $4.5 million this upcoming season, there was no real reason for the Falcons to keep the injury-plagued veteran around. Jake Matthews, the team’s first-round pick in 2014, is entrenched in as the staring left tackle. Meanwhile,  Lamar Holmes or Ryan Schraeder should earn the starting right tackle gig.

It does appear there should be some market for Baker’s services. While injuries are a concern here, Baker is still a starter-caliber player when healthy. If Baker can prove he’s over these knee injuries, he should catch on with a team in short order.

Baker started 81 games in seven seasons with the Falcons after being selected 21st overall in the 2008 NFL draft out of Southern California.

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