The Redskins have been slow to talk with some of their pending free agents this year, but good news has emerged with defensive lineman Chris Baker. The team's best player along the defensive front for the last two seasons, a source told CSN that Washington and Baker had "positive" contract talks.
The 'Skins face competition for Baker, however, with as many as six teams expressing interest in the pending free agent.
It's no surprise that there will be some competition for Baker on the open market. During the last two seasons, Baker has logged 10.5 sacks while playing defensive end in the 3-4 scheme.
A stout run stopper, Baker is exceptionally quick for his 6-foot-2, 300 lb. frame and is capable of getting to quarterbacks from the interior of the line. Pro Football Focus named Baker to its "Top 10 Under the Radar" list of free agents, and it appears the other teams in the NFL listened.
Washington's defensive line needs a rebuild, the unit ranked near the bottom in too many statistical categories. But many observers of the team recognize that rebuild should include Baker, a guy that provides a strong locker room presence with his leadership and his levity.
In the last week, the Redskins placed the exclusive franchise tag on QB Kirk Cousins as well as working with Baker towards a new deal. That contract work comes amid rampant speculation about front office turmoil, as general manager Scot McCloughan did not attend the NFL Scouting Combine with other Washington brass.
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