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Need to Know: High expectations for Redskins’ Baker in 2014

Jul 18, 2014, 4:53 AM EST

Baker

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, July 18, six days before the Redskins start training camp.

Three and out

—I wouldn’t say that there is a great deal of hype surrounding DE Chris Baker this offseason but there certainly are some fairly high expectations. He signed a three-year, $9 million contact before free agency started and he is slated to play a key role as either a starter or the first one off the bench. Last year he was in some packages but he played more than 25 snaps in a game just once in the first 11 weeks of the season. His playing time ramped up after that and Baker started the last three games, playing 65 percent of the snaps (134 of 204). It is likely that he will have the heavier workload right off the bat and it will be interesting to see how he is used and how effective he is.

—Any playing time gained by Baker could be lost by Jarvis Jenkins. The 2011 second-round pick has not performed up to the potential it looked like he had when the Redskins drafted him out of Clemson. The best part of his career came during his rookie training camp when it looked like he could be a very effective 3-4 end, if not a star. But he suffered the torn ACL in Baltimore during a preseason game and he hasn’t been the same since. Jenkins is probably safe on the 53-man roster since he is a relatively young player (26) on what is an aging unit. But he’s not a lock and he needs a good camp and preseason to lock up his spot on the 53.

—Speaking of Jenkins, there was a lot of hype about the Redskins’ draft class of 2011 when Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan did some wheeling and dealing and ended up with 12 picks. But instead of being transformational, the draft class has provided many more questions than answers. With the exception of Ryan Kerrigan—the Redskins exercised the fifth-year option for their first-round pick—all of them have contracts that expire at the end of the season. It would not be totally stunning if Jenkins, Leonard Hankerson, Roy Helu, Evan Royster, Aldrick Robinson, Maurice Hurt, and Chris Neild all were playing somewhere else next year. That would be a faster disappearing act than the one we saw from the group that was drafted in 2008.

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Timeline

—It’s been 201 days since the Redskins played a game; in 51 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener vs. Patriots 20; Final cuts 43; Home opener Jaguars @ Redskins 59

Rypien on the 2014 Redskins

In case you missed it

  1. RussianBreadMaker - Jul 18, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    Let Orakpo the complainer walk. Orakpo complains about being held.

    • jonevans511 - Jul 18, 2014 at 9:18 AM

      That “Orakpo complains about being held” horse is dead & buried but folks still continue to beat it. I wish I knew what the heck you folks were talking about because I don’t see BO complaining any more than other pass rushers.

    • ajbus1 - Jul 18, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      Derp.

  2. ET - Jul 18, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    Baker has high expections this year, but it seems like he’s ready for it. We have a lot of young potential on the defensive side, but Baker (unlike Keenan, Thomas, etc.) has acquitted himself well and seems to be over the hump.

  3. kenlinkins - Jul 18, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    Rich: Many of the 2011 draft class you list could find themselves without a job this year if they do not step up and really start to produce. Other than Kerrgian, none can claim to be a full time starter and all have people behind them on the 90 man roster who could show better up side with just a little development. Of the last 28 guys drafted before this year, 23 are still on the roster but only 6 are starters. The 2011 class may find out that the waiting is over for them to develop into something other than a back up. Hankerson, Jenkins, and Helu better show up in preseason games or find someone else’s name on their locker come Sept. There are guys just like Baker (who were not drafted and could not stick with a team once or twice, but kept developing and signed on as a undrafted free agent and took a draft picks place on the roster) who would love another shot at the NFL. Being drafted now gets you a 4 year contract but every little for sure money after year one. A new head coach might want to keep his guys and everyone sign before this year are someone else idea of a good football player (and not the new coach’s). IMO some of the guys from the 2011 class will be cut this year.

  4. Jimmy Kubas - Jul 19, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Baker will b a force this year.

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