Chris Baker has gone to New England for 5 years and $14 million.
"There were a lot of reasons," Baker told 1050. "They provided an opportunity to win right away and to play with Tom Brady and Randy Moss. It was a pretty easy decision for me."
The second reason was obviously to get back at the Jets. Give Belichick credit. This was a great pickup. Baker is above average across the board at tight end. To have him as a backup is an excellent find, and the fact they took him from Gang Green makes it all the sweeter.
The Pats were already difficult enough to match up against. Their receiving depth made their spread formations tough to defend for all but the deepest secondaries. Now they can also line up in double tight end sets with Ben Watson, a matchup problem, and Baker, a solid receiver underutilized by the Jets who still caught 41 balls two seasons ago. If the Pats want to emphasize the run more, Chris will help there too. He is a good run blocker. His 2008 dropoff had to do with Dustin Keller's emergence, not anything Chris did wrong.
The Pats did their homework. Baker is talented but was underutilized in New York. This was a nice under the radar signing. Considering the state of the cap, suddenly the $2 million the Jets saved does not seem worth losing a quality player to New England.