New Buccaneers defensive tackle Chris Baker said he was elated to join forces with the likes of Gerald McCoy, Robert Ayers and Noah Spence but he also admitted it was ”hurtful” to learn that his old team the Redskins didn’t want him anymore.
Well, now we may know why the Redskins didn’t want him.
Few will argue that the Redskins decision not to retain the player many considered to be their most disruptive defensive lineman was a bit curious, but according to Mike Jones of the Washington Post, the Redskins were never sure what they were going to get from Baker.
“Chris Baker was popular with the fans because of his personality, but Redskins coaches, officials and even some teammates were just lukewarm on him,’’ Jones wrote in his answer to a fan’s question regarding Baker’s departure.
“The (Redskins) talent evaluators and coaches weren’t always happy with Baker’s work ethic, and they felt like he needed to make more of a consistent impact … and (hope) Terrell McClain represents an upgrade over Baker.’’
Ouch. That’s quite an indictment. And clearly, if the evaluation Jones received is accurate, then this signing could go down as another bad free agent miss just like the signings of left tackle Anthony Collins and defensive end Michael Johnson did.
One thing we know for sure, though, is that the stats Baker has put up the last couple years suggest he’s the real deal. Now, stats don’t always tell the whole story, especially with defensive tackles, but Bakers tell a pretty good one.
As we pointed out shortly after he signed with the Bucs, Baker posted better overall tackle, sack and forced fumble numbers the last two years than all but one of the defensive linemen in free agency, so the potential for a great return on the Bucs investment is there.
As with every free agent, though, the bust potential is always great. In Baker’s case, it could be very great. That’s what the Redskins would have you believe, at least. Of course, it’s hard to know what to believe of what’s coming out Washington these days.
And that goes double for the football team owned by Daniel Snyder and run by Bruce Allen.