The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are moving fast at the start of free agency. In addition to adding DeSean Jackson, the Bucs have also reached an agreement with defensive end/defensive tackle Chris Baker, also formerly of Washington. Baker will sign a three-year deal worth $6 million per year, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Peter Schrager pinned the numbers down a little more precisely:
DL Chris Baker signs 3 year deal with @TBBuccaneers . $5.25m per year with the potential to get to $6.25. @gmfb @NFLonFOX— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) March 9, 2017
Baker is mostly a run-stuffing defensive tackle who will likely replace free agent Akeem Spence as an early-down nose tackle, though he could also function as a defensive end in a 3-4 lineup. Defensive coordinator Mike Smith has shown a preference for bigger, hybrid defensive linemen and a mix of 4-3 and 3-4 alignments in the past, so it’s likely the Bucs are looking at Baker in a role similar to that as well.
With Baker added and Will Gholston re-signed, as well as Jacquies Smith tendered, the Bucs now have a pretty solid group of defensive linemen. Not a dominant one by any means, but there’s enough depth and quality there to go into the regular season as is. The team is likely to add one or two guys either in free agency or in the draft, though I wouldn’t expect any big names to join the Bucs.