NFC Notes: Baker, Washington, Panthers

Washington defensive end Chris Baker is entering the final year of his contract and is extension-eligible, but he’s not clamoring for a new deal, as he tells John Keim of As Keim details, Baker also hopes to stick at left end rather than sliding over to nose tackle for just 10 plays per game.

“I’ve solidified myself as a good left end,” Baker said. “So I’d like to stay at my position and use my athleticism to make plays. I’m willing to do what it takes to make sure the team wins, but hopefully they leave me at left end and use the other noses we have or some of the younger guys we’re going to draft.”

Washington saw last year’s starting nose tackle, Terrance Knighton, depart in free agency, signing a new deal with the Patriots, so the club will likely look to address the position in the draft.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Even though they hold the 30th overall pick in this year’s draft, the Panthers are more likely to move out of the first round than they are to trade up, writes David Newton of
  • Oklahoma cornerback Zack Sanchez visited with the Panthers on Monday, a league source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Sanchez, a two-time All-Big 12 selection, has started 37 games over the past three seasons. In 2015, Sanchez hauled in seven interceptions, 45 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, and seven pass breakups. Last month it was reported that Sanchez was moving up draft boards around the league, potentially putting him in position to be a late first-round pick.
  • Florida State linebacker Reggie Northrup traveled to D.C. to meet with Washington on Monday, per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link).
  • Defensive back Blake Countess, who played his final college season at Auburn after several years at Michigan, has a visit on tap with the Giants, tweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
  • The 49ers have done their homework on defensive lineman Vernon Butler, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. The former Louisiana Tech standout measured in with the fourth-highest arm length and hand size of any defensive lineman in this year’s class. Branch notes that head coach Chip Kelly and GM Trent Baalke are both fans of bigger defensive linemen, and Butler fits the bill at 323 pounds.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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