In a 5-11 season that was filled with disappointments for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, some were sure to pay the price. One name that was somewhat expected to be on their way out was defensive tackle Chris Baker, and now it has been confirmed that the team will be cutting ties with Baker after just one season.

In Baker’s lone season with the Buccaneers, he recorded 24 tackles and just half a sack in 15 games played.

Baker signed a three-year contract worth $15,750,000 with $9,000,000 guaranteed last offseason after a very nice 2016 season with the Washington Redskins. By cutting him now, the Buccaneers will save $4,875,000 in cap room for 2018 and $9,750,000 in total over the last two years of his contract.

In theory, Baker was a fit for the Buccaneer by giving them a pass rusher option from the nose tackle position. However, once he got to Tampa, Baker struggled to hold up against the run first and foremost and was not much better when being asked to collapse the pocket.

In hindsight, it was a marriage that never should have been, but why it failed so miserably is up for debate.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. And the hits just keep on comin’. Bucs are thoughtful enough to let these guys go early, ahead of the start of free agency at least.

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  2. kick bolders…

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  3. Yes! when I heard Doug was released I was thinking, when is Baker getting released? Hopefully this send a message to the rest of the team. You don’t perform you get cut.

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  4. I don’t say this often of Tampa players as they leave, but Baker can screw off. He wasn’t happy here from the get-go, and had zero interest in making an impact.

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  5. Actually, why it failed isn’t a debate at all. It was obvious from training camp.

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    • Agreed, never a good sign when even the rookies are making fun of how lazy you are.

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  6. I’m confused Trevor. How can the Bucs save 9,750,00 on a 15,750,000 contract if 9,000,000 is guaranteed? I thought Guaranteed means that he gets that amount even if we cut him. If 9 mil was guaranteed that means the most we could save would be 6,750,000 if we cut him. 15,750,000 – 9,000,000 = 6,750,000

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    • It was $6M guaranteed in the deal.

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      • That’s what I thought but I read Trevor’s post and it says 9 mil guaranteed.

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  7. He should’ve been the first one cut!

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  8. Baker another Licht bust. People are saying good move, get him out. How many of these does Licht get before he gets fired? You signed a guy to a multi year contract and cut him after a year. What kind of evaluation did you do? Not a NFL GM level one. This guy is not a GM. Its just a matter of time. Anyone who thinks this team will have a winning record next year is dreaming.

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    • He was a very big signing when we got him. NO GM on the planet can tell if a guy will do good once he gets here or not. ALL GM’s make bad decisions and pick the wrong free agents. It is a fact of life. That’s why you are supposed to build with the draft and not free agents. But then again, the draft is no guarantee either!!! You just try your best and do as much research as you can, then hope it all works out.

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      • When the Redskins didn’t even make him an offer, it should have been a sign.

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  9. Good

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  10. Cut Gholston too. Makes too much money for 1 QB hit all year. Heck you can fall on a qb.

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  11. Here’s an updated look at likely real cap space once a few contracts are handed out this offseason.

    Current room (before cuts): $60.5M
    Money saved (Doug): $6.75M
    Money saved (Baker): $4.88M
    Adjusted current cap space: $72.2M
    Money for rookie draft pool: (approx. $7M)
    Marpet: ($9M)
    Kwon: ($8M)

    Adjusted projected space: $48.2M

    Future deals to consider: Jameis ($25M) and Mike Evans ($17M)
    If counting those deals (both of which are currently looking like they’re probably on the low end of estimates), current cap space: $6.2M

    Now, it seems like Evans and Jameis aren’t going to sign their extensions this offseason. Which is fine. But they are coming next offseason, and we need to plan for that. As such, it’s clear that due to our young talent core all having deals that expire in the near future, we don’t have nearly as much freedom in free agency as it might seem like we do.

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    • Other possible cuts to save more money that could realistically go towards filling holes at CB, OL, and/or DE this offseason: Gholston ($6.5M), Ayers ($6M), and Anger ($3M). Of course, if we cut both Gholston and Ayers (moved that, in a vacuum, I’d be on board with), that would leave us with shockingly few clearly useful defensive linemen on the current roster – GMC, Spence, Will Clarke, Davonte Lambert, Channing Ward, Stevie T, Sealver Siliga, Justin Trattou, Ryan Russell, and Patrick O’Connor would be all that’s left. So basically, GMC, the question mark that is Noah Spence, a couple guys who have shown VERY small flashes of promise, and a bag of fertilizer.

      All in free agent and draft markets that are notably shallow/weak at DE.

      Wonderful!

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      • “All in the free agent and draft markets that are notably shallow/weak at DE”. Agree, which is why randomly cutting Ayers and Gholston isn’t necessarily the smartest move. Would rather see what Buckner can do with them for a year before just cutting them loose.

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    • toofamiliar,

      Like any good Buc fan, it is admirable to look out for the Bucs cap situation now and in later years. But not to worry my friend, the Bucs are in great shape and will be for years to come.

      As you state, the Bucs would be in dire straits if cap space was a linear function and had to be accounted for when contracts were let. But as you recall, that is not the way it happens. Usually there is some kind of signing bonus or up-front money and the remainder is spread out over 5 or 6 years or the remainder of the contract (most won’t go to maturity). Then there will be high-end contracts like Gerald McCoy (12.8mil) that will be coming off the books.

      Then consider that the cap increased 10mil again this year and will likely continue that trend over the life of those contracts (50-60mil). The NFL just signed FOX to a 3.3 billion/yr contract for Thursday Night Football. DirectTV has launched a streaming service that needs no satellite or cable box and is in negotiations with the NFL to stream Sunday Ticket. The NFL has signed mega-contracts with Verizon and Amazon Prime and is now negotiating with Youtube for streaming services (wave of the future). The NFL is going to Mexico and Canada like they are in London. There will be no shortage of cash to extend cap space in the NFL!

      The Bucs also have Mike Greenberg – one of the best capologist in the NFL. Be concerned but not to worry about cap space my friend! Go Bucs!

      https://www.si.com/2015/02/25/nfl-salary-cap-myth-los-angeles-stadium

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      • Typo: NFL/FOX contract is 3 billion over 5 years, still a lot of dough. lol.

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  12. There’s no debate as to why this failed. He was lazy and had a poor work ethic and attitude. Of course in a contract year he played well. Redskins clearly saw that he only cared about $$$ and knew to let him walk. He collected his guaranteed money from the Glazers and that was that. Not sure who would sign this guy after the last season he just had. Bad locker room guy, not worth it. I hope Licht learned from this.

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    • Not sure who would sign this guy? I’ll tell you, A LOT of teams will probably try. Someone will give him a 1 year, “prove it” deal, with incentives. He will play very hard on that deal to reach his incentives, then will cash in again after a very solid season for another wide-eyed franchise looking for D-line help. It is a vicious cycle which only gets broken when all the teams realize that he is lazy and only plays hard in a contract year. Of course, the only exception is sometimes when these players hit the “jackpot,” and latch on to a very good playoff contending team like the Pats or maybe Steelers or Packers. Then, some of them wake up and play well for a while because they are excited to be on such a good team.

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  13. Truth is we brought him in to play nose tackle, but he’s more of a D end. Another F.A. bust on Licht. At any rate Vita Vea really comes into play now we just cut our starting N.T. from last year.

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  14. What is the most disappointing about this is that all the issues he had with the Bucs matched the reputation he had in Washington before we signed him. Lazy and not very productive. Another horrible Licht signing.

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  15. Once he cashed his check he got lazy

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  16. Congratulations Chris; you earned to be cut. Too bad you had no desire to play football. Bucs wasted six million dollars; somebody in Licht scouting group might feel a little insecure at this point as to employment?

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