The Cincinnati Bengals bolstered their defensive line this offseason with the addition of Chris Baker.
The Bengals signed Baker right before the official start of NFL free agency. They were able to do so because Baker was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason. Signing him also won’t count against potential compensatory picks the Bengals hope to accumulate in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Baker ended up signing a one-year, $3 million contract with the Bengals, including a $300,000 signing bonus. In 2018, Baker will have a base salary of $1,500,000, a roster bonus of $481,250 and a workout bonus of $150,000 while carrying a cap hit of $2,431,250 and a dead cap value of $300,000.
That $300,000 dead cap isn’t enough to fully secure his spot on the 53-man roster, so if he’s outplayed by several other defensive lineman, it won’t cost too much to cut him.
Here’s a look at his contract, courtesy of Over The Cap:
Classified as an eighth-year player in 2018, Baker has had stops with Tampa Bay, Washington, Denver and Miami. The majority of his career was with Washington from 2011-16, during which he appeared in 76 games (42 starts) while recording 181 tackles, 11.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and five pass deflections.
In 2017, Baker had 33 total tackles, two pass deflections and a half a sack in 15 games (14 starts). In his previous two seasons in Washington (2015-16), Baker recorded 100 total tackles, 9.5 sacks and five forced fumbles in 32 games (32 starts).
Baker would go on to sign a free agent deal with Tampa Bay in the 2017 offseason, but he was released after just one season on what was a three year contract worth $15.7 million. The deal the Bengals have signed him to is a pretty team friendly one. Hopefully Baker shines in Cincinnati, but if he doesn’t, the money spent wasn’t outrageous by any means.