Saturday, March 13, 2010
Baker, Bates were together with Jets
By Mike Sando
NFL teams hardly make a move without tapping into some sort of connection.
The Seahawks' agreement with Patriots castoff Chris Baker fits the profile.
Baker, 30, and Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates were together with the Jets in 2005. Baker averaged a career-high 14.9 yards per catch that season. He caught 14 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns with New England last season. The Patriots terminated his contract.
The Seahawks also showed interest in former Patriots tight end Ben Watson, but he signed with Cleveland instead. This deal with Baker made Seattle the latest NFC West team to seek depth at tight end. The Rams brought back Daniel Fells. The Cardinals brought back Anthony Becht and Stephen Spach. The 49ers visited with Becht.
Scouts Inc. on Baker: Baker is a short, thickly built tight end who isn't a powerful blocker at the point of attack, but has enough athleticism to be an effective target in the passing game. He has good foot agility, quickness and balance to be an effective short and intermediate route-runner. He has improved as a route-runner by using his body to get separation. He has good, reliable hands to extend and make receptions away from his body. Baker doesn't have great burst or speed to stretch deep seams and he can be a liability as a run-blocker at the point of attack or anchoring versus bull rushers off the edge. He has developed into a solid football player, but is somewhat one-dimensional because he is primarily used as a receiving tight end and wall-off type blocker.
It's possible the Seahawks disagree with that assessment. If not, the team is getting another receiving tight end to go with John Carlson. John Owens, Cameron Morrah and Jason Pociask are also on the roster at tight end for Seattle.