Like that perfect mate who got away, there will always be love between Chris Baker and Washington Redskins fans.
Baker will always remember how he got his career on track in D.C., morphing from a journeyman into a prized free agent.
Redskins fans will always remember Baker’s gritty play and larger-than-life Swaggy persona, who danced during pre-game warmups, interacted with fans and acted like he was actually having a good time.
Those were the good times, and the times we’ll cling to in moments of weakness.
Last week, Baker was released by the Bucs after one forgettable season in Tampa Bay. Almost immediately, Redskins fans started in on Twitter, begging him to come back and inject talent into one of many units that will need help this offseason.
Baker ate it up, retweeting the positivity–and for good reason. He has many good memories here and achieved a lot in D.C., both personally and professionally.
If only it were so simple.
When Baker was here, he was vocal in his criticism of the coaching staff and scheme. When he hit free agency, the Redskins made no effort to retain him, a situation that Baker admitted at the time really hurt him.
If the Redskins were looking for indications that Baker had turned into London Fletcher with the Bucs, they were sorely disappointed. Baker’s theatrics weren’t as well received in Tampa, as his stats dropped and he got into a locker room shouting match with teammates after a painful mistake cost his team the game.
The Bucs let him go without much financial consequence and the Redskins had every opportunity to bring him back. Instead, he signed with the Bengals ahead of free agency, with a deal worth more than $3 million for one year.
The Bengals have a reputation for signing colorful characters, and he has a chance to be beloved again by the home fans.
In the meantime, his flirtations with D.C. fans are just a well-intentioned attempt to remember the good times. Remember D.C. fondly, Swaggy.