The Dolphins and Jerome Baker have agreed to an extension (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). The linebacker is now inked for another three years at a max value of $39MM. The deal includes $28.4MM guaranteed, though it’s not clear how much of that is fully guaranteed at signing.
Just recently, Baker told reporters that the Dolphins “haven’t really” approached him about a new contract this offseason. Apparently, he was playing coy. Baker has quietly turned himself into a solid starting linebacker for the Dolphins, averaging 119 stops over the past two seasons. He also showed a knack for pass rushing last year, compiling seven sacks. Now, he has a contract to match his performance.
Previously, Baker was set to make $2.433MM in 2021. His new deal gives him an average annual value of $13MM/year, ahead of fellow ‘Fins inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney. In terms of new money, Baker now ranks as one of the ten highest-paid ILBs in the NFL.
The Dolphins believe in Baker, though he did miss ten tackles last year while ranking as a middle-of-the-pack LB, per Pro Football focus. Still, the Dolphins are clearly encouraged by his evolving coverage and pass rushing skills.
“I definitely look myself in the mirror and know what I need to do to get better,” Baker said earlier this month (via Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald). “For me, locking in on the run game, being one of those linebackers that secures the inside, not just in the pass game but in the run game.”
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.