Falcons sign OT Sam Baker (6 years, $41.5M; $18.25M guaranteed): B+ Grade
This looks like a terrible contract at first glance. Giving a guy with back problems $41.5 million over six years would be a huge disaster - even if he happens to be the franchise quarterback's blind-side protector. But the fact is that the overall numbers are misleading. Stripped down, Baker's contract is for three years and $13.5 million. The rest is performance-based.
Given that knowledge, this is a very good re-signing for the Falcons. It's still a lot of guaranteed money, but retaining Baker was crucial for Matt Ryan's protection. Baker has had a shaky career in Atlanta up until the 2012 season, but he performed extremely well last year. He could always regress if his back flares up, but even if he does, Atlanta won't be stuck with a bad contract on its hands.
I don't know how reliable walter is with facts, but he seems pretty good.
If this is what it is, this is a darn good deal for a starting LT.