Sunday, November 18, 2018

Bucs release defensive tackle Chris Baker

Hours after they parted ways with running back Doug Martin, the Bucs continued their initial wave of roster cuts Tuesday afternoon, releasing defensive tackle Chris Baker.

Baker, 30, lasted only one season with Tampa Bay, managing just a half-sack after totaling 9.5 in the previous two years with the Redskins. As part of a defense that managed an NFL-low 22 sacks, Baker was due to make $4.8 million in 2018, but his contract was structured in such a way that Tampa Bay faces no salary-cap consequences from his release.

With Baker's release and Clinton McDonald and Sealver Siliga set to become unrestricted free agents, Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy is the only defensive tackle under contract out of the Bucs' top four last season. On Monday, the team announced the hiring of former Arizona assistant Brentson Buckner as its new defensive line coach.

Cutting Martin and Baker frees up about $10 million in salary-cap room for the Bucs, who have about $74 million available, fifth-most in the  NFL according to The Bucs might not be done, with DE Robert Ayers among other potential cuts before free agency begins next month.