Chiefs CB DeAndre Baker signs ERFA tender

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In early March, the Kansas City Chiefs extended a qualifying contract offer to cornerback DeAndre Baker, an exclusive rights free agent. On Friday, Baker officially signed that contract, according to the NFL’s personnel notice. This is merely a formality ensuring he’ll be back with the team for the 2022 season.

ERFAs are veteran free agents who have yet to accrue three seasons in the NFL. Their original team holds exclusive negotiating rights. If an ERFA is tendered a qualifying contract offer by his team prior to free agency, he is unable to refuse that offer. He can reach unrestricted free agency only if the team declines to extend a qualifying offer or pulls the qualifying offer.

Baker, who has accrued two NFL seasons, was expected to get a one-year deal worth $925,000. Salaries for ERFAs are typically very low, amounting to very little in terms of salary cap impact.

The Chiefs first signed Baker to the practice squad in 2020. He was promoted to the 53-man roster via standard elevation twice that year. Baker suffered a serious noncontact leg fracture in the final game of the regular season. He appeared in eight games last season, including a start in Week 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles. In total, he played a combined 238 snaps on defense in the regular season and postseason, recording 16 total tackles and a pass defensed.

Baker should be in the mix for more playing time in 2022. With injuries to Rashad Fenton, Trent McDuffie and Joshua Williams, it’s possible that Baker works his way onto the first team early in training camp.

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