A standoff between the New York Jets and disgruntled tight end Chris Baker ended without fanfare and attention over the weekend when the two sides connected on a new deal.
Baker’s deal, which had two years remaining on it, was extended three years through the 2012 season. The new deal will pay him $12.2 million over those three new years, including $9 million of guaranteed money if Baker plays in 50 percent of the Jets plays this season and is on the roster the fifth day of the league year. But if the Jets opt against paying the guaranteed money, then Baker would become a free agent in March.
If Baker fails to play in 50 percent of the Jets’ plays, he still will get the three-year, $12.2 million extension –- just without any guaranteed money.
All together, Baker now has five years remaining on a contract that is worth $15 million.
The reason the deal has been kept so quiet is that Baker’s salary-cap number for this season did not change nor was there any guaranteed money paid to him this year. Thus, it was difficult to detect the deal through the updated contracts filed with the NFL Players Association’s. Plus, the deal was finalized Friday, two days before the Jets opened the season with a victory in Miami.
Each side could claim victory. Baker got the new deal that he said was promised to him. The Jets got their tight end in a peaceful and happy frame of mind.