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Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Falcons give Sam Baker six-year deal

By Pat Yasinskas

It’s been a day of rumors in Flowery Branch, Ga., but we can tell you something with certainty now.

Left tackle Sam Baker has agreed to terms on a six-year contract that will keep him with the Atlanta Falcons, a team official said.

Baker earned the deal by turning in a 2012 season that was by far the best of his career. Baker had struggled with injuries and inconsistency through most of his first four seasons. But coach Mike Smith told Baker to spend last offseason getting his body healthy. The tackle listened and it paid dividends as Baker stayed healthy all season.

That should bring some continuity to an offensive line that might be going through some changes. That leads us back to rumors. Although one former player tweeted that center Todd McClure is retiring, there has been no official word from the team or McClure. We’ll wait until there is reason to go any further.

Same story on cornerback Brent Grimes. An Atlanta newspaper reported Grimes had re-signed with the Falcons. The newspaper later retracted the report, saying it was inaccurate.

As of late Tuesday night, a team official said no deal is in place with Grimes, who reportedly is drawing interest from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.