Red Flag On Chris Baker?March 19th, 2017
‘Tis the season of optimism, when new, expensive blood arrives (usually) and the annual celebration of talent begins while playoff dreams get vivid.
Joe is not here to urinate upon these good feelings, but a little reality is important.
Defensive tackle Chris Baker, the Bucs’ big Day 1 signing from the Redskins, is an upgrade from Akeem Spence without question. So the Bucs win there. Spence moved on to Detroit, and swapping him for Baker was a Bucs-friendly deal.
However, Joe can’t ignore the red flag in the room. The Redskins didn’t want Baker back.
Baker himself talked about this Friday on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
“It was really hurtful learning that the Redskins didn’t really offer me a contract, being that I was one of their best defensive linemen on their team for the last couple of years and really worked my way up from the practice squad to being one of the best linemen,” Baker told Lance Meadow and Phil Savage on Late Hits. “And for them not to offer me was very hurtful, but I understand it’s a business and I’m very happy to move forward with the Buccaneers and I think I really have a bright future there.”
Baker turns 30 in October and he wasn’t exactly a household name in Tampa two weeks ago.
Joe has written countless times through the years that free agents, especially those who command modest salaries and are unwanted by their teams, represent a red flag. They’re a significant gamble.
(For those wondering, numerous reports claim the Redskins were, in fact, working to re-sign DeSean Jackson.)
Joe realizes loads of fans right now are saying, “But the Redskins are a hot mess and a bunch of morons?” To that, Joe points to back-to-back winning seasons for Washington and a good head coaching hire in 2014, when the Bucs’ hire was a disaster.
Like every Bucs fan, Joe is hoping Baker is better than Clinton McDonald and is the key to restoring the Bucs’ run defense. But Joe is a little nervous.