Linebacker Jerome Baker has had a very nice first three seasons with the Dolphins, so nice that he was rewarded with a three-year $39 million contract extension this offseason.
But now with the experience of having led this defense in tackles for two straight seasons, it is time for Baker to reach another level.
It’s time for him to become elite.
There are several players on this defense who face a similar challenge at this juncture of their career. But it is Baker from this vantage point where the spotlight shines the brightest. He has the tools. He has the smarts. He now has the experience. He has put together a resume filled with solid performances, and if he fails to progress from here, he remains good enough to be a quality starter for a long time.
But the Dolphins need him to be more than that. This defense needs him to be more than that. He is now firmly in his prime years, comforted by that contract extension, and determined to keep his career trajectory pointing upward. You look at his numbers: 37 starts in 48 games, 311 tackles, 11.5 sacks and two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown against the Jets. Impressive stuff. But as good as those numbers are, you look at Baker’s physical tools, you think about his knowledge of this defense, and you just know he is capable of more game-turning plays.
The Dolphins have some promising options at linebacker, what with the drafting of Jaelan Phillips, the signing of veteran Benardrick McKinney and the anticipated progress of third-year player Andrew Van Ginkel. But it is Baker from whom we expect the most of this season.
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Q&A with Miami Dolphins Legend Richmond Webb
I was lucky enough to interview the legend, Richmond Webb. For those Dolphins fans who live under a rock, Webb is one of the greatest Miami Dolphins players ever and their greatest left tackle of all time.
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Offensive line an early season concern
Jaylen Waddle is as advertised
The 2021 first-round pick has been a bright spot for the Dolphins
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The Wall of Sharks
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A TRADITION REIMAGINED
FOR OVER A DECADE, PHOTOGRAPHER JULIEN GIRARDOT HAS BEEN CAPTIVATED BY FRENCH POLYNESIA AND A DREAM OF BRINGING TRADITIONAL SAILING CANOES, OR PIROGUES, BACK TO THE MOTUS
bold and beautiful
B&B'S LIAM AND HOPE RECONCILE
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HOW ONE PERSON SEES THROUGH SOUND
DONRUSS OPTIC FOOTBALL SCHEDULED FOR WEEK OF CHRISTMAS