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Atlanta Falcons release veteran offensive tackle Sam Baker
Atlanta Falcons left tackle Sam Baker looks on from the sideline in the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers on Jan. 2, 2011, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. - photo by Dave Martin

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Atlanta Falcons have released veteran offensive tackle Sam Baker.

The team announced the move Monday.

Baker started 61 of his 70 career games, but injuries have hindered his progress. He missed last season after tearing his right patellar tendon during a preseason game, has undergone three back surgeries and even lost his starting job during the 2011 season.

After starting all 16 games in 2012, when the Falcons won the NFC South and reached the NFC championship game, Baker was re-signed to a six-year, $41.5 million deal.

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