Falcons retain Baker with 6-year pact

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Updated: March 12, 2013

The Atlanta Falcons re-signed starting
left offensive tackle Sam Baker to a six-year contract on Tuesday, ensuring
Matt Ryan will have his blind-side protector back for the upcoming season and
beyond.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Baker has started 58 games in five seasons since being selected by Atlanta
with the 21st overall pick of the 2008 draft, the same one in which team
grabbed Ryan with the third choice of the first round. The former USC standout
is coming off a solid 2012 campaign in which he allowed a career-low 3 1/2
sacks and was not whistled for a holding or false start penalty while starting
all 16 games.

With Baker primarily manning the all-important left tackle spot, the Falcons
have ranked in the top eight of the NFL in terms of fewest sacks allowed in
five straight seasons.