DeAndre Baker is still in limbo, and the New York Giants say they haven’t decided if they’ll keep the 2019 first-round draft pick.
Baker was charged with four counts of armed robbery with a firearm after pulling a gun at a Miami-area party this offseason. He has been on the NFL’s commissioner’s exempt list, unable to practice with the team.
Baker is awaiting word on his NFL future. The Giants say they are still discussing what to do, general manager Dave Gettleman said.
Gettleman made one thing clear: The Giants researched Baker’s background, suggesting the alleged crime was a surprise to the team.
DeAndre Baker charged after incident
Baker made headlines in mid-May when he allegedly pulled the gun at the party after flipping over a card table. Baker allegedly told Quinton Dunbar, a cornerback with the Seattle Seahawks, and a third person to start collecting valuables from partygoers. Baker and Dunbar reportedly lost $70,000 while playing cards at a separate party a few nights before. Dunbar was not charged due to “insufficient evidence.”
Those are serious allegations against Baker, and that brought up questions about how much background work the Giants did on a first-round pick. Gettleman said Wednesday “There’s nothing we didn’t know,” via Art Stapleton of The Record in New Jersey.
Dave Gettleman: "Did we thoroughly investigate DeAndre's background? Absolutely. There's nothing we didn't know."— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) September 2, 2020
Says the Giants are still in conversations about whether they will keep Baker on the team - he's currently on the Commissioner's Exempt List and not on the roster.
The Giants could still take action by cutting Baker, and Gettleman was asked about that too.
Why keep DeAndre Baker around instead of showing they have zero tolerance for his alleged behavior?— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) September 2, 2020
Said Dave Gettleman: "That’s a fair question. All I can say to that: In life, there’s timing that’s involved. In life, there’s timing."
Giants secondary is thin
The Giants don’t want to throw in the towel on a first-round pick after one year, especially when secondary is an issue.
The Giants, without Baker in practice and with no idea if the NFL will punish him, signed free agent Logan Ryan. That helps. But the Giants also lost safety and second-round pick Xavier McKinney for an extended time due to a broken foot.
Like most decisions in the NFL, a team has to weigh whether the negative attention over a bad off-field story outweighs the value a player brings to the roster. It has been a few months, and the Giants don’t seem to know the answer to that question yet.
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