The Atlanta Falcons have experienced severe woes on their offensive line for the past two seasons, and they have decided to overhaul the unit.
Sports video app
Atlanta Falcons LB Prince Shembo charged with murdering ex-girlfriend’s dog
2015 NFL draft: Atlanta Falcons draft recap, Building a defense for a defensive master
Left tackle Sam Baker has been released by the Falcons after seven seasons with the team, and left guard Justin Blalock has announced his retirement after eight seasons.
Blalock and Baker were both selected in the first round of the draft by the Falcons, which respectively occurred in 2007 and 2008.
Baker had a promising start to his career and signed a six-year, $41.5 million contract extension in 2013.
However, his career continued to be weighed down by injuries, and he has suffered a season-ending injury two seasons in a row since signing his extension.
Blalock was released by the Falcons in February after starting 125 games for them.
The Falcons drafted Jake Matthews in 2014 to be their starting left tackle, and he experienced growing pains as a rookie.
However, they clearly have faith in him as they are paving the way for his development.