It is a strange offseason for the Washington Redskins. From the firing of general manager Scot McCloughan to the departure of free-agent wide receivers Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. These days, no news is indeed good news. However, business continues. The team is making moves on defense. The franchise now has defensive linemen Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain, physical strong safety D.J. Swearinger and outside linebacker Chris Carter. They bring back nose tackle Ziggy Hood while parting ways with Ricky Jean-Francois.
It wasn’t a surprise that defensive end Chris Baker isn’t back with the team. He’s one of the better interior defenders in the league and a hot commodity. So the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign him to a three-year, $15.75 million deal (via Spotrac). He will pair inside with perennial Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy on the Bucs’ improving defense.
But the shocking is that according to Baker, there was no interest from the team that he spent the past five seasons performing for. “It was really hurtful learning that the Redskins didn’t really offer me a contract,” states the former undrafted free agent on St. Patrick’s Day via Sirius XM NFL Radio, “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.
“And for them not to offer me was very hurtful,” added Baker. 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.”
According to Pro Football Focus, the sturdy performer ranks 18th when it comes to the NFL’s interior defensive linemen. Baker owns an impressive 82.2 grade. Meanwhile, new teammate McCoy rounds out the Top 10 with an 85.2 mark. All told, it bodes well for the Bucs.
Did someone in the Washington Redskins’ front office figure Baker was a bit too expensive for their taste? That’s certainly understandable given his recent play. It’s too bad he’s now elsewhere. He was far from the problem on a team allowing the fifth-most total yards in the league each of the past two seasons.
Russell S. Baxter is the Washington Redskins lead writer for Pro Football Spot. You can follow him on Twitter at @baxfootballguru. Looking for more Redskins news and features? Like our Facebook page HERE and also follow @spot_redskins on Twitter.