Baker in 2008
|No. 7, 6, 9|
May 17, 1978 |
Fort Wayne, Indiana
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||205 lb (93 kg)|
|High school:||Fort Wayne (IN) Wayne|
|Career NFL statistics|
Jason Michael Baker (born May 17, 1978) is a former American football punter. He was signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2001. He played college football at Iowa. He has also played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, and Carolina Panthers.
Baker played college football at the University of Iowa. When he graduated, he left as the Hawkeyes' all-time leader in punts and punting yards, with 272 punts for 11,304 yards. He was named special teams MVP of the 1997 Sun Bowl for his performance in Iowa's loss against Arizona State University, after registering eight punts for 391 yards. He also made honorable mention All-Big 10 honors as a senior in 2000. He majored in business administration.
He was not drafted by any team, and was signed as a free agent by the Philadelphia Eagles in April 2001 before being waived a short while later, not having appeared in any regular season games for them. He was then picked up by the San Francisco 49ers, and was their regular punter during the 2001 NFL season. Unfortunately, he was released the next year, and signed again by the Eagles. He played several games for them before being released again at the end of the season. He was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs before the 2003 season, and was their regular punter for the whole season, averaging a respectable 39.5 yards per punt. Baker then had a bizarre season in 2004. He was waived by Kansas City, then re-signed two weeks later, then waived a week after that. He was then picked up by the Indianapolis Colts, played with them for 5 weeks, then Indianapolis waived him and he was picked up by the Denver Broncos, who he finished the season with. He played for Denver in the AFC Wild Card game against his former team, Indianapolis. After the season, he was traded to the Carolina Panthers with a 2006 draft pick for Pro Bowl punter Todd Sauerbrun. Baker eventually won the punting job, after battling with Tom Rouen and Steve Cheek during training camp and the preseason. He played the rest of his seven seasons in Carolina, where he averaged 44.0 yards per punt in 112 games, set most of the franchise records, twice led the league in punts, and was a Pro Bowl alternate multiple times but never attended. The Panthers rewarded him with a contract making him the highest paid punter in the NFL prior to the 2007 season. Baker is one of the fastest running punters in the NFL. He managed to surprise the Seahawks' Leon Washington in a game on December 5, 2010, tripping up the prematurely celebrating Washington to save a touchdown.
As of 2017[update]'s NFL off-season, Jason Baker still held at least three Panthers franchise records, including:
- Punts: career (570), playoff game (7 on 2006-01-22 @SEA; with Todd Sauerbrun and Brad Nortman)
- Punt Yards: career (25,064)
- Additional Career statistics/player information: Pro Football Reference.com