It seems as though the clues are dropping more and more that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to be big players in the NFL’s upcoming free agency period, which opens this Thursday at 4:00pm.
First it was reported that the team was interested in signing Washington wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Then, a few days later, they were linked to the interest of Arizona defensive lineman Calais Campbell.
Now, according to a report from Denver Broncos reporter Mike Klis, the Buccaneers are a team “hot” on the trail for Washington defensive tackle Chris Baker.
Since then, it has been reporter that the Bucs are not only interested in Baker, but that they are in the lead to sign him once free agency officially opens at 4:00 p.m. EST on Thursday.
The 320-pound Baker recorded 100 tackles, 9.5 sacks and five forced fumbles over the last two years that he was with the Redskins. After going undrafted in 2009, Baker signed with the Denver Broncos, but only for one season. After that, he played one season in the CFL before signing with the Dolphins in 2010. He signed with Washington the year after in 2011 and has been in D.C. ever since.
Baker, who is currently 29 years old, has never made a Pro Bowl, but has been a consistent starter for Washington as both a defensive end and nose tackle in their 3-4 system since 2014. He would likely be a rotational player for both Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald in the interior defensive line for Mike Smith’s 4-3 scheme.