It appears as if the Jets have learned from there mistakes last year with Pete Kendall and have attempted to keep the guys in the locker room happy. Coles got his money, and now so has Chris Baker! Rotoworld has reported that Baker will receive $12.2 Million in “new money” with $9 Million guaranteed as long as he plays in 50% of the snaps. This is a huge bonus for the Jets as they really don’t have a legit option at tight end besides Baker. Dustin Keller is a tweener and will be a matchup nightmare in the passing game, but he still needs to work on his blocking. Besides that, it’s Bubba Franks who is far past a viable option for Brett Favre to count on.
Here’s why this is such a big deal. The situation with Pete Kendall last year wasn’t just a huge mistake because of the hole it left in the offensive line, but the hole it left in the trust these guys had in the front office. Kendall was a veteran player who was helping D’Brick and Mangold adapt to the NFL and once the Jets lied to him and stiffed him over $1 million, he let the locker room know about it. The rest of the the team took notice at how Kendall was treated and there was a feeling all year long that the front office couldn’t be trusted. That kind of atmosphere is not conducive to winning.
That is why this deal makes so much sense. It says to the locker room that the front office will take care of these guys and they don’t need to hold out to make that happen. It says they do care and appreciate the hard work that the players have put in, and that if they continue to do so… they’ll be well compensated!
I fully expect this to put a jolt into Chris Baker and he should finish this year as the best tight end in the AFC East! Royal, Watson & Fasano are solid, but now Baker can go all out without this contract situation hanging over his head. This is a huge boost for the morale of the team, and it give Brett Favre another motivated target down near the redzone!