Bengals sign Chris Baker to a one-year deal Grade: C+
The Cincinnati Bengals signed defensive tackle Chris Baker to a one-year deal worth a little more than $3 million. Baker is coming off a disappointing season with Tampa Bay where he just inked a three-year, $15.75 million deal last offseason. He only collected 33 tackles in 2017 playing in 15 games.
Most of the rumors on why Baker was cut was due to the question of his efforts. He had issues in Washington being known for not showing effort in practice and there were issues in Tampa Bay with him laughing and smiling after sealing the deal for the Panthers defeating them in a late-season game due to a penalty by Baker. Reports came out that there were exchanges of words between Baker and quarterback Jameis Winston regarding the issue.
Cincinnati is hoping that reuniting him with his coach from Washington, defensive line coach Jacob Burney and linebacker coach Jim Haslett who was the defensive coordinator for the Redskins will get Baker back to his better play. The signing gives the Bengals a veteran presence at the position next to defensive tackle Geno Atkins.
The Bengals know exactly what they are getting into and have an easy out if Baker becomes a problem. It gives him a one-year prove it deal that Cincinnati loves dishing out with little risk and possible high upside for a player that’s trying to prove himself.