Chris Baker (defensive lineman)

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Chris Baker
refer to caption
Baker with the Washington Redskins in 2016
Free agent
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born: (1987-10-08) October 8, 1987 (age 32)
Windsor, Connecticut
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:320 lb (145 kg)
Career information
High school:Windsor (CT)
College:Hampton
Undrafted:2009
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
  • First-team All-MEAC (2008)
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Total tackles:214
Sacks:12.0
Pass deflections:7
Forced fumbles:5
Fumble recoveries:2
Player stats at NFL.com

Christopher Isaiah Baker (born October 8, 1987), nicknamed "Swaggy",[1] is an American football defensive tackle who is currently a free agent. He played college football at Hampton University, and was signed by the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent following the 2009 NFL Draft. Baker has also been a member of the Miami Dolphins, Hartford Colonials, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Cincinnati Bengals.

College career[edit]

Baker originally played football collegiately at Pennsylvania State University. Before the 2007 season, he was involved in two separate off-campus fights along with nine of his Penn State teammates. On June 26, 2007, Penn State temporarily expelled all ten involved players from July 1 through the end of the summer semester in mid-August.[2] His expulsion was later made permanent.[3] Baker transferred to Hampton University to continue playing football in 2008.[4]

Professional career[edit]

Denver Broncos[edit]

Baker signed with the Denver Broncos on April 27, 2009.[5] He played one game for the Broncos for the 2009 season. On September 3, 2010, the Broncos released Baker.[6]

Miami Dolphins[edit]

On October 7, 2010, Baker was signed to the practice squad of the Miami Dolphins.[7] He was promoted to the active 53-man roster on November 26, 2010.[8] He played one game for the Dolphins in the 2010 season. The Dolphins released him on July 31, 2011.[9]

Washington Redskins[edit]

On September 5, 2011, the Washington Redskins signed Baker to its practice squad.[10] On December 6, 2011, Baker was promoted from the practice squad to the active 53-man roster.[11] Without even playing a game for the Redskins, he was placed on injured reserve due to a quad injury on December 13, 2011.[12]

By the start of 2012 training camp, Baker was fully healed and was expected to compete with Chris Neild for the backup nose tackle position.[13][14] After Neild was placed on injured reserve in the preseason, Baker made the final 53-man roster in his place.[15]

Baker with the Redskins in 2013

Originally set to become a restricted free agent, the Redskins tendered a restricted free-agent right-of-first-refusal qualifying offer to Baker on March 11, 2013.[16] Baker officially accepted and signed the team's tender on April 10.[17] He recorded his first career sack on Jay Cutler in the Week 7 win against the Chicago Bears.[18][19]

Set to become a restricted free agent again for the 2014 season, the Redskins announced they had re-signed Baker to a three-year deal worth $12 million, with $4 million guaranteed.[20] He would switch from the starting left defensive end position to the nose tackle position after starter Barry Cofield was placed on short-term injured reserve.[21] During a game against the Philadelphia Eagles on September 21, 2014, Baker hit Eagles quarterback Nick Foles following an interception (which eventually was reversed) by Foles. Foles was jogging towards the player who had intercepted his pass when Baker made a hard block on Foles. Following the hit, a brawl broke out on the sidelines between both teams. Baker was confronted by Eagles offensive tackle Jason Peters with Baker clamping the face mask of Peters in retaliation and with Peters taking a swing at Baker which resulted in both players getting ejected in the scuffle. After the game, Baker responded to the incident saying, "I didn't even really hit him hard. I just hit him with my shoulder and he happened to fall. He's the quarterback and I guess that's why there was an ejection." Despite conflicting opinions on whether on the block was legal or not,[22] he was fined $8,268 for the fight with Peters.[23] On October 17, 2014, Baker was fined $10,000 for dragging down Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer in the face mask during the Week 6 loss.[24]

Baker's gameplay in the 2015 surprisingly progressed so much that he beat out new free agent acquisition, Stephen Paea, for the starting left defensive end position.[25][26] In the Week 4 win against the Eagles, he recorded two sacks on quarterback Sam Bradford, which was his first multi-sack game.[27] At the end of the regular season, he recorded a new career-high of six sacks, which earned him the $280,000 bonus in his contract.[25]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers[edit]

On March 9, 2017, Baker signed a three-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[28] His contract was worth $15.75 million with $9 million guaranteed.[29] In his lone season with the Buccaneers, Baker recorded 33 tackles and 0.5 sacks.[30] On February 20, 2018, he was released by the Buccaneers after one season.[31]

Cincinnati Bengals[edit]

On March 7, 2018, Baker signed a one-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.[32] He was released on August 24, 2018.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Baker has been childhood friends with nose tackle Terrance Knighton and Damik Scafe since high school, where the three of them were teammates.[34] Knighton was Baker's best man in his wedding to ESPN talent producer, Jamila Phillips, on March 14, 2015.[35]

On January 7, 2016, Baker's first child, Aria, was born.[36]

Legal issues[edit]

While attending Penn State, Baker was sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty two cases of assault on May 16, 2008.[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kring-Schreifels, Jake. "Chris 'Swaggy' Baker Recalls The Favorite Moment In His Career". Redskins.com. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  2. ^ Armas, Genaro (June 26, 2007). "Penn State disciplines 10 players for off-campus fight". Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  3. ^ Jones, Mike (October 27, 2013). "Game day Q&A: Chris Baker on a football career that almost didn't happen". WashingtonPost.com. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  4. ^ Friedman, Vicki (October 4, 2008). "NSU, Hampton give players a second chance". HamptonRoads.com. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  5. ^ Bear, Doc (April 30, 2009). "Team Building and the Denver Broncos". Mile High Report. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  6. ^ Brooks, Reid (September 4, 2010). "Denver Broncos' Josh McDaniels Traded Earl Thomas for Dan Gronkowski, Other Cuts". Bleacher Report. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  7. ^ Nelson, Chris (October 7, 2010). "Dolphins sign NT Chris Baker to practice squad". www.phins-spotlight.com. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  8. ^ Nelson, Chris (November 26, 2010). "Dolphins promote NT Chris Baker to active roster". www.phins-spotlight.com. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  9. ^ Nelson, Chris (August 1, 2011). "Shaun O'Hara, Ray Willis to visit Dolphins; minor roster moves". www.phins-spotlight.com. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  10. ^ Fitzgerald, Gary (September 5, 2011). "Royster Among 8 Signed to Practice Squad". Washington Redskins. Archived from the original on March 10, 2018. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  11. ^ Jones, Mike (December 6, 2011). "Redskins promote NT Chris Baker to 53-man roster". WashingtonPost.com. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  12. ^ Jones, Mike (December 13, 2011). "Chris Baker to IR; Richard Quinn signed". WashingtonPost.com. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
  13. ^ Jones, Mike (August 2, 2012). "Redskins training camp: Chris Baker is aiming for a spot in defensive line rotation". WashingtonPost.com. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  14. ^ Yanda, Steve (August 3, 2012). "Redskins training camp: Chris Neild is in tough competition with Chris Baker at nose tackle". WashingtonPost.com. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  15. ^ Tinsman, Brian (September 4, 2012). "Recap: Defensive Position Battle Winners". Washington Redskins. Archived from the original on March 10, 2018. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  16. ^ Jones, Mike (March 11, 2013). "Redskins tender restricted free agent Chris Baker, will let Brandon Banks walk". WashingtonPost.com. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
  17. ^ Campbell, Rich (April 10, 2013). Redskins DL Chris Baker signs his restricted free agent tender. WashingtonTimes.com. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
  18. ^ Tinsman, Brian (October 21, 2013). "Redskins-Bears Monday Stats Pack". Redskins.com. Archived from the original on March 3, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  19. ^ Zappulla, Jordan (October 22, 2013). "Sunday's Win Chock-Full Of Redskins Firsts". Redskins.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  20. ^ Jones, Mike (February 27, 2014). "Redskins re-sign defensive lineman Chris Baker". Washington Post. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  21. ^ El-Bashir, Tarik (September 10, 2014). "Chris Baker to replace Barry Cofield at nose tackle". CSNWashington.com. Archived from the original on December 24, 2014. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
  22. ^ Wilson, Ryan (September 23, 2014). "NFL won't suspend Chris Baker for hit on Nick Foles; says it was legal". CBSSports.com. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  23. ^ Patra, Kevin (September 26, 2014). "Jason Peters, Chris Baker fined for Week 3 fight". NFL.com. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
  24. ^ Smith, Michael (October 17, 2014). "Chris Baker fined for facemasking Carson Palmer". NBCSports.com. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
  25. ^ a b Keim, John (January 4, 2016). "Redskins DE Chris Baker cashes in with sacks". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  26. ^ Walker, Andrew (November 14, 2015). "Swaggy's Surge: Chris Baker Showing His Worth". Redskins.com. Archived from the original on August 31, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  27. ^ "Redskins-Eagles Monday Stats Pack". Redskins.com. October 5, 2015. Archived from the original on August 31, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  28. ^ Smith, Scott (March 9, 2017). "Bucs Nab DT Chris Baker, Help Defense Too". Buccaneers.com. Archived from the original on February 21, 2018.
  29. ^ "Chris Baker Contract Details, Salary Cap Breakdowns, Salaries, Bonuses". Spotrac.com. March 10, 2017.
  30. ^ "Chris Baker Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  31. ^ Smith, Scott (February 20, 2018). "Bucs Release Chris Baker". Buccaneers.com. Archived from the original on February 23, 2018.
  32. ^ Knoblauch, Austin (March 7, 2018). "Chris Baker signs 1-year deal with Cincinnati Bengals". NFL.com.
  33. ^ Patra, Kevin (August 24, 2018). "Bengals cut veteran DT Chris Baker after brief stint". NFL.com.
  34. ^ Herting, Chris (March 22, 2013). "Friends' Pact Turns Dream Come True". Redskins.com. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  35. ^ Robertson, Erin (March 16, 2015). "Redskins lineman Chris Baker weds ESPN's Jamila Phillips at the W Hotel". WashingtonPost.com. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  36. ^ Kring-Schreifels, Jake (January 7, 2016). "Chris Baker Welcomes Baby Girl To The World". Redskins.com. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  37. ^ "Penn State tackle pleads guilty, gets two years probation". ESPN.com. May 16, 2008. Retrieved July 4, 2014.

External links[edit]