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.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at:
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4 years ago

Word comes from Mike Klis, Denver Post reporter that the Broncos and Tampa Bay are teams hot on DT/DE Chris Baker/Redskins. Jacksonville in play for DL Calais Campbell. It’s been fun the last week playing with the top of the FA market. Now that it’s nut cutting time at 12 noon, it’s back to reality with the Chris Baker’s of the world. Nothing wrong with the choice if it happens, it just reminds me that there is probably no change in the Buc’s philosophy of FA value spending regardless of the size of the cap space! I don’t know if… Read more »

Reply to  macabee
4 years ago

Agreed. Calais Campbell felt like a chess move to finalize the Gholston deal.

Reply to  macabee
4 years ago

Haven’t heard that phrase for years. Nut cutting LMAO

4 years ago

Yup, macabee … any time a media person breathlessly reports that some team is “hot on the trail” of some particular FA, it pegs out the BS meter.

This guy sounds like decent depth, but not the kind of guy that GMs get “hot” over.

4 years ago

All part of the game to throw other teams off as to their needs.

4 years ago

He played NT in a 3-4 scheme so his sack totals are actually pretty impressive. Put him inside next to GMC and we have two guys capable of getting to the QB and wrecking havoc in the backfield. I’m not nearly as high on Spence as some bc I dont think pursuing Campbell or Baker are a ploy to sign a mediocre talent like Akeem. I hope Licht knows we need to do better against the run and that is with Gholston on the roster we still were not as good as we need to be. Pursuing Campbell and Baker… Read more »

Reply to  stlbucsfan
4 years ago

Stlbucfan, I’m not implying this strategy as to Akeem Spence; I was referring to other needs and other players out there who are free agents.

4 years ago

This guy sure has bounced around a lot which seems to me he’s been good enough to make the rosters, just maybe not good enough to stay on them. Past two year stats are impressive. Perhaps a late bloomer.