The Jets have signed formerly disgruntled tight end Chris Baker to a contract extension. Baker moaned and groaned all offseason about his contract status prior to suddenly "coming to peace" with his situation. There are some provisions with the deal, which make it very attractive from the standpoint of the Jets.
Baker must participate in over half of the offensive snaps this year for the Jets. If he does, $9 million is guaranteed for next season. This provides the team with a nice insurance policy in case Dustin Keller does not develop as it hopes he will. Chris is a solid starter. He is a decent run blocker, and defenses at least have to account for him in the passing game unlike his predecessors, Anthony Becht and Kyle Brady. There is no problem with keeping him around should the need present itself.
If Keller does develop into the legitimate threat in the passing game the team expects, he will probably become the starter and render Baker moot. Bubba Franks would likely see most of the action as a blocking specialist in multiple tight end sets since he is more of a mauler in the running game. Chris would see less than half of the plays in this scenario, and his raise would not be guaranteed. The Jets could let him go and spend their money at a more pressing position.
Gang Green has effectively signed an insurance policy it can cancel at the tight end position. Meanwhile, Baker will be a happier solider in the locker room, which eliminates a potential distraction.