The news of Sam Baker re-signing with the Atlanta Falcons broke Tuesday evening, but the details of his terms took another day to be revealed. Good news, folks, the front office came away with an agreeable situation for all parties involved.
Baker will receive $41.1 million for his six-year deal, including a $10 million signing bonus. Pat Yasinskas took the time to break down the numbers on Baker's new contract. The first two years are guaranteed. Here's the layout.
Signing bonuses can only be prorated for up to five years, so Baker's $10 million will be allocated all the way to 2017. His cap his for 2013 will be $3 million. I'd say that's a steal for the Falcons. A total of $3.9 million in escalators could be included as well, so these numbers are subject to change.
Left tackles can be extremely pricey. Look at some of the top players and their base salaries at the position today. The Falcons structured Baker's contract to please both sides.
For Atlanta, they can choose to cut Baker if he isn't living up to expectations in a few years. The first couple seasons don't affect cap space too much. For Baker, if he can stay healthy and continue to improve, a more lavish amount will be heading his way. Of course, the Falcons might elect to restructure at that point, but it's at least something for Baker to work towards.
Panic subsequently struck once the initial numbers hit Twitter (big surprise). Even after hearing the news of Baker signing a six-year deal, fans appeared outraged. One decent season is not enough to declare a player a star of the future and hand him wheelbarrows full of cash. The Falcons gave Baker a long-term contract, but he will have to live up to his somewhat increasing standards to earn the majority of what he's expected to make. This is a smart move by Atlanta.