With free agency set to begin in March, Redskins.com's Stephen Czarda previews the 2017 NFL free agent class position-by-position. Today's focus is on the defensive ends.
When Chris Baker first signed with the Washington Redskins as a member of the practice squad on Sept. 5, 2011, the Hampton product was looking for a steady home following brief stints with the Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins.
He had appeared in one regular season game with both teams, but was determined to become a consistent contributor.
After spending nearly the entire 2011 season on the practice squad in Washington, Baker got his first crack at more playing time during the 2012 season.
By the 2014 season, he was a full-time starter for the Redskins and has been the team's most productive defensive lineman during that time, recording 139 tackles with 10.5 sacks, five fumbles forced and two fumbles recovered over the last three years.
Baker's hope now is to remain in Washington for years to come.
"I would love to stay here as a Redskin, but at the end of the day I have to do what's best for my family," Baker said. "We'll see what happens, what the numbers will be, and hopefully I'll be back.
Every time I got my chance to play, I always did [well]. Each and every year, people were like, 'I didn't know you were this good.' I was like, 'You didn't let me play.' Every time I got a chance to play and show the kind of player I can be, I always took advantage of it."
Along with Baker, Ziggy Hood and Cullen Jenkins are set to become free agents following the completion of their one-year deals.
Hood rebounded from an injury-plagued 2015 season to appear in 16 games with 14 starts, while Jenkins just wrapped up his 13th NFL season. The Central Michigan product was the oldest player on the roster in 2016 at 35 years old.
Here is a list of the defensive ends currently scheduled to become unrestricted free agents at 4 p.m. ET March 1, via NFL.com:
- Calais Campbell, Arizona Cardinals
- Lawrence Guy, Baltimore Ravens
- Charles Johnson, Carolina Panthers
Check out these photos of free agent Defensive lineman, Calais Campbell.
Mario Addison, Carolina Panthers * C.J. Wilson, Chicago Bears * Cornelius Washington, Chicago Bears * Margus Hunt, Cincinnati Bengals * Wallace Gilberry, Cincinnati Bengals * Stephen Paea, Cleveland Browns * Jack Crawford, Dallas Cowboys * Vance Walker, Denver Broncos * Billy Winn, Denver Broncos * Devin Taylor, Detroit Lions * Antonio Smith, Houston Texans * Kendall Reyes, Kansas City Chiefs * Jarvis Jenkins, Kansas City Chiefs * Cam Thomas, Los Angeles Rams * Mario Williams, Miami Dolphins * Dion Jordan, Miami Dolphins * Andre Branch, Miami Dolphins * Jason Jones, Miami Dolphins * Justin Trattou, Minnesota Vikings * Jabaal Sheard, New England Patriots * Chris Long, New England Patriots * Greg Scruggs, New England Patriots * Darryl Tapp, New Orleans Saints * Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants * Damion Square, San Diego Chargers * Glenn Dorsey, San Francisco 49ers * Tony Jerod-Eddie, San Francisco 49ers * Damontre Moore, Seattle Seahawks * John Hughes, Tampa Bay Buccaneers * William Gholston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers * Chris Baker, Washington Redskins * Cullen Jenkins, Washington Redskins * Ziggy Hood, Washington Redskins
Calais Campbell is a two-time Pro Bowler who just recently completed his ninth full season with the Arizona Cardinals after being selected in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
Check out these photos of free agent Defensive lineman, Jason Pierre-Paul.
For his career, Campbell has collected 501 tackles along with 56.5 sacks and eight fumbles forced. Despite not recording a sack in his rookie season, Campbell has been a steady player in terms of sack production since 2009, recording at least five every single season. He's appeared in all but six games over the last nine years.
Mario Williams was recently released by the Miami Dolphins after just one season. The first-overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, Williams has collected 97.5 sacks in his 11-year career.
The four-time Pro Bowler also has five seasons of at least 10.5 sacks.
Chris Long, meanwhile, was linked to the Redskins last season before signing a one-year deal with the New England Patriots.
The University of Virginia product appeared in 96 games to start his career before injuries sidelined him for portions of the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Long once again appeared in all 16 games during the 2016 season.
For his career, Long has totaled 58.5 sacks.
Jason Pierre-Paul could be in search of a new home following seven seasons with the New York Giants.
The 2010 first-round selection rebounded from a 2015 season highlighted by a fireworks injury to register seven sacks in 12 games in 2016.
2017 Free Agency Outlooks: