Baker signs among other roster moves

Sam Baker, property of The Falcons made a multitude of roster moves on the eve of camp. Not only did the team agree to terms with the last of its unsigned draft picks in offensive tackle Sam Baker, but also signed three others: offensive tackle Mike Butterworth, cornerback Blue Adams, and linebacker Coy Wire. To make room for the additions the team waived cornerback Glenn Sharpe, reached an injury settlement with linebacker Travis Williams, and waived/injured offensive lineman Pat McCoy. The team also placed defensive tackle Trey Lewis on the active/non-football injury list and offensive tackle Renardo Foster on the active/physically-unable-to-perform list.

Baker was the second of the team’s two first round draft picks, and there was some worry about whether he would be signed on time before the start of practices on Saturday morning. Baker is expected to compete for the starting left tackle position against Quinn Ojinnaka.

Butterworth rejoins the team after being cut in June to make room for Harry Douglas. He is an undrafted free agent out of Slippery Rock. Adams was recently dumped by the Cincinnati Bengals. He has spent most of his four seasons in the NFL as a reserve corner contributing on special teams. Last year for the Bengals, he recorded 9 stops on special teams in 13 games. Wire was an unsigned free agent this past off-season after spending six seasons with the Buffalo Bills. In that span, he mostly produced on special teams. His most productive year came as a rookie in 2002, where he started 15 games at strong safety and recorded 92 tackles and 3 sacks. He was moved to linebacker late in 2006, which was the position he played at Stanford.

Sharpe was an undrafted rookie out of Miami signed by the team this past spring. By reaching an injury settlement with Williams, it affords the Falcons an opportunity to re-sign him later in the season but also gives Williams a chance to explore other opportunities with other teams. If McCoy clears waivers, he will be placed on the Falcons injured reserve list.

Lewis and Foster essentially are unable to practice due to injury, and if or when they are able to pass a physical, will be free to join the Falcons active roster this summer. Both players suffered torn ACLs last season. Lewis had a setback in the off-season as he was already in the midst of rehab and require more surgery on his injured knee. Foster suffered his second career ACL tear last October and isn’t completely healed.

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Aaron Freeman
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