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.
I am thankful to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Organization, Glazer Family, Coach Koetter, and GM Jason Licht for the opportunity last season. I am looking forward to the next chapter in my career. I am thankful for the chance to continue to follow my dreams. God always has a plan. pic.twitter.com/gYbY4FDJlm— Chris Baker (@cbakerswaggy) February 20, 2018
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 Spotrac.com. The Bucs might not be done, with DE Robert Ayers among other potential cuts before free agency begins next month.