The 29 year old defensive lineman could be courted by the Colts, as well as other free agency suitors such as the Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Having started all 16 games for the Redskins this past season, Baker is coming off a productive season in which he recorded 47 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.
Earlier this offseason, he was named as one of Pro Football Focus’ ‘10 under-the-radar players set to hit free agency‘:
"Sep 20, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins nose tackle Chris Baker (92) celebrates on the field against the St. Louis Rams in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports3. Chris Baker, DI, Redskins (82.2)Redskins interior defender Chris Baker will turn 29 in 2017, but he has been a very good all-around player on the defensive line for two seasons. Baker gets consistent pressure on the quarterback, but is an even better run defender, as you’ll rarely find the veteran out of position. While Baker’s production took a slight step back in 2016 from 2015, he still is a reliable and dependable option for teams looking for stability on the D-line."
Specifically, per Pro Football Focus (subscription), his +82.2 grade overall was the 18th best among all ‘interior defenders’–highlighted by a +79.7 run defense grade.
Originally signed by the Denver Broncos Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 2009, Baker has also spent time with the Hartford Colonials, Miami Dolphins, and of course, the Washington Redskins among other professional football teams.
The 6’2″, 320 pound veteran defensive lineman has appeared in 78 career games (42 starts), recording 97 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, 4 passes defensed, and 2 fumble recoveries in five NFL seasons.
Of course, the Colts could use help all over on their defense.
Defensive end is arguably their strongest position on defense though (which again, isn’t saying much) with promising young Henry Anderson, emerging 2nd-year pro Hassan Ridgeway, and veteran Kendall Langford all at the position.
That being said, the Colts could eventually make veteran Art Jones a cap casualty–who’s been a free agency disappointment, while the team is currently ‘not expected‘ to tender an offer to young rotational defensive lineman Zach Kerr–meaning there could be a lot of playing time freed up.
There’s also some lingering injury questions regarding the health of both Anderson and Langford’s knees going forward and whether it will hinder their future performances respectively.
The Colts ranked 25th against the run this past season, surrendering 120.4 rush yards per game, which means that the team could look to shore up their porous run defense.
Collectively, new general manager Chris Ballard has emphasized that he wants his new franchise to get stronger in the trenches on both sides of the football earlier this offseason:
"“Look, in this league you win upfront,” said Ballard in his introductory press conference. “You win on the o-line, d-line, and if you’re not good upfront, it’s very difficult when you get into December football. December, January football.”"
Signing a veteran defensive lineman such as Baker, who obviously excels in stopping the run, would be another positive step in the right direction for the Colts.
It’s just a matter of whether the price would be right.