New York Giants: DeAndre Baker’s legal issues will force management’s hand in 2021

New York Giants, DeAndre Baker

When New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker was placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, most knew the probability of him returning to the NFL was slim. Head coach Joe Judge was asked about his legal issue several weeks ago during his first press conference, stating that he would let the front office deal with him.

Judge hasn’t had an easy time acclimating to the head coaching position for the Giants, being dealt blow after blow with COVID-19 and several criminal charges being pressed against his players. Luckily, he does have plenty of bright faces in the building, including Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Xavier McKinney, and more. When it comes to Baker, though, the likelihood of him playing with the Giants again is dwindling. Ultimately, the team will need to find a supplement for him moving forward.

The Giants were close to signing Ross Cockrell over the weekend, who last played with the team in 2017. He’s a solid starting corner and would have upgraded the position, but negotiations fell through in the final moments. The Giants elected to sign undrafted free agent Prince Smith out of New Hampshire instead. While it will be difficult for him to earn a starting spot on defense, he will be a development player with high upside.

Smith is extremely committed and is a fighter. His willingness to stop the run and physical approach to the corner position could make him valuable in the future. However, the Giants are relying on Julian Love, Darnay Holmes, Chris Williamson, and Corey Ballantine to make the jump to CB2. I can’t imagine any of these options play at a premium level, but holding their own is all we can hope for in 2020.

Baker is setting the New York Giants’ defense back:

Baker’s mistakes will force the Giants to look elsewhere in 2021 for a supplement. The Draft Networks 2021 mock draft has the Giants selecting quarterback Caleb Farley in the first round. The Virginia Tech corner is impressive, despite not having much experience at the position. While he is raw for a top 10 pick, the Giants are being forced into allocating draft capital toward the position.

Alternatively, they could look to free agency next off-season to find another corner. Current Cincinnati Bengals corner Mackensie Alexander fits the bill well at 27 years old. In 2019, he played in 13 games, allowing a 65.5% completion rate with two scores. He didn’t have his best campaign, but his youth and likely affordability would make him a decent option for the Giants if they are willing to splash the cash. There are plenty of options to look for free agency, but not breaking the bank would be a bonus.

New York Giants: DeAndre Baker Defended On Instagram By Quinton Dunbar

New York Giants, Julian Love, DeAndre Baker, Julian Love

New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker is in hot water right now, but it looks like he has the support of fellow NFL cornerback Quinton Dunbar. Dunbar is the other player that was accused in the armed robbery case that both players were involved in. However, no charges were filed against Dunbar while Baker will have to fight four counts of armed robbery with a gun.

Charges being filed against Baker but not Dunbar makes it seem like the prosecutors have something on Baker. However, Dunbar made a post on Instagram indicating his own belief in Baker’s innocence. Baker’s legal team is additionally claiming that the charges were made based on false testimonies.

The latest takes on the case

“I won’t sleep right till these alleged victims get what they deserved…” Dunbar wrote in the post. The ‘alleged victims’ refers to the ones accusing Baker of armed robbery. The narrative from Baker’s camp so far has been that the accusers are untrustworthy and have changed their statements multiple times.

But the prosecutors see enough of a case regardless to go ahead with the charges.

“We will now expose the hypocrisy at the case filing level, the way the office of the state attorney “teamed up” with these convicted felons and offered them to come in and explain why they changed their stories multiple times without fear of prosecution,” said Bradford Cohen, one of the attorneys on Baker’s legal team, in a different Instagram post.

Neither side has revealed their evidence yet. If we want to find out the outcome, we’ll have to wait and see. However, for Baker, the current case may just spell the end of his season before it can even begin.

New York Giants could pursue Dre Kirkpatrick as a DeAndre Baker supplement

New York Giants, Dre Kirkpatrick

Things only seem to get worse for the New York Giants after DeAndre Baker was placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List and reserve corner Sam Beal opted out of the 2020 season. Supplementing the loss of two potential starting players is never an easy thing, and head coach Joe Judge will likely have to make a move.

While it is possible the Giants stick with their youth players like Julian Love, Darnay Holmes, and Chris Williamson, there’s also a good chance they look to a free agent.

Here’s one free agent, the New York Giants, should consider:

Reports have indicated that the Giants could supplement the CB2 spot with a free agent. The name Logan Ryan, Ross Cockrell, and Dre Kirkpatrick have all entered the fold following Baker’s increasingly problematic legal issues. While Ryan’s statistics are extremely enticing and Cockrell played well for the Giants back in 2017 (3 INTs), a cheaper, more reliable option would be Kirkpatrick.

Dre has spent the last eight seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, playing as a boundary corner and starting consistently throughout his career. A six-year span between 2013 and 2018 saw him miss just eight games. Last season in 2019, Kirkpatrick missed ten contests, playing in just 31% of defensive snaps. Injury significantly limited his production last season, but that might open the door for a cheap contract with the Giants.

How much cap space do the Giants have?

The Giants currently have about $21 million in cap space available, and the smart would move would be to roll over as much as possible into the 2021 campaign. Signing a veteran on a cheaper deal is the most efficient transit, and Kirkpatrick would fit the bill nicely with his experience in the NFL.

At 31 years old, he’s no spring chicken, but two years ago, in 2018, he recorded a 50% completion rate against an allowed two touchdowns over 774 snaps. He would pair nicely with James Bradberry, the Giants’ high-priced free-agent signing. On a one-year deal, it would give the Giants some time to work out the CB2 spot and not put their defense in danger.

The secondary has been extremely volatile the past few seasons with rookies and inexperienced players manning key positions, and adding an established veteran to compete would be a positive move. An incentive-laden deal with Kirkpatrick makes the most sense, paying him more if he starts a specific number of games for Big Blue. It would be a win-win for both sides, and the New York Giants would feel more comfortable going into the regular season without a preseason to iron out the position.

New York Giants: DeAndre Baker No Longer Appealing Exempt List

New York Giants, DeAndre Baker

It’s a bad offseason so far for New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker. The corner was placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List when a warrant was made for his arrest, due to accusations of armed robbery. For a while, everyone wondered whether the case would be dismissed. That seemed to be what Baker’s legal team thought would happen.

However, that prediction was off as Baker was charged with four counts of robbery, while Quinton Dunbar escaped without charges. Dunbar is being removed from the exempt list and presumably will play. It’s hard to say the same thing about Baker and his chances of playing this season.

The legal case will continue, and Baker has the chance of being sentenced to life. Granted, it’s unlikely that a life sentence would actually be handed down for a robbery at a party where no one was hurt, but the fact that it’s an option shows the hot water that Baker is in right now.

Baker will remain on the Commissioner’s Exempt List

While Baker was previously appealing the decision to place him on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, him and his team have withdrawn that appeal according to Ralph Vacchiano.

Since the Exempt List is basically paid leave, Baker apparently considers it a better option than going off the list but not being able to play this season. And based on his situation, it looks like he might just have to sit out this season while the legal proceedings happen. That’s whether he’s innocent or guilty, but Baker’s innocence is a bit harder to argue for after he was charged and not Dunbar.

Apparently, prosecutors believe they have more of a case against Baker than they do against Dunbar. With that being said, the public still doesn’t know what evidence they have or don’t have, so it’s hard to make predictions.

The Giants will just have to prepare to play the season without their number two cornerback, a major blow thanks to their thin depth at the position. It’s also, however, a chance for another player to step up in Baker’s place.

Report: New York Giants’ DeAndre Baker officially charged with armed robbery

New York Giants, DeAndre Baker

New York Giants’ cornerback DeAndre Baker has been dealing with legal issues the past few months, and with reports indicating he could be exonerated of charges regarding an armed robbery case, the narrative has changed drastically. On Friday afternoon, Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News reported that Baker was charged with four counts of robbery with a firearm, per Broward State Attorney Mike Satz.

Leonard also stated that if he were convicted, the robbery with a firearm would mandate a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison.

It is crazy to think just several months ago Baker was slotted to be the Giants’ No. 2 corner on the roster after coming off a tough 2019 campaign. Clearly, Baker had different plans for his career, putting himself in a bad situation that could cost him his future.

The New York Giants had high hopes for Baker:

At just 22 years old, Baker entered the NFL with red flags concerning his character, but general manager Dave Gettleman saw the upside of his talent and took a chance in the first round. After just one season of lackluster play, Baker was expected to take a major step forward in a Patrick Graham lead defense. Graham utilizes plenty of man coverage, which Baker excels in.

Last season, former defensive coordinate or James Bettcher utilized zone coverage more frequently, which put Baker in a tough spot. An expected elevation in 2020 was the reason for excitement, but now DeAndre is facing life in prison. With a friend being instructed to shoot a partygoer, Baker was that close to facing the death penalty in this situation.


New York Giants: Could Jabrill Peppers Be The Team’s CB2?

New York Giants, Jabrill Peppers

The New York Giants might or might not have a vacancy at their second outside cornerback position. Second-year cornerback DeAndre Baker has found himself in quite a bit of legal trouble this offseason. Baker currently has eight felony chargers hanging overhead and has been placed on the NFL’s commissioner’s exempt list. He is not allowed to participate in the Giants’ training camp and, day by day, it looks less and less likely that we will see DeAndre play another game in a Giants uniform.

DeAndre Baker’s absence leaves a huge hole in the Giants’ secondary. New York signed James Bradberry this offseason as their primary outside cornerback. But the expectation was for DeAndre Baker to be the team’s second outside cornerback. If DeAndre is indeed done as a Giant, they will need to find someone else to play that position. There are numerous options on the roster to fill that role: Corey Ballentine, Julian Love, and Sam Beal. But the most intriguing option is the most unlikely.

Jabrill Peppers As CB2?

The Giants’ secondary has a trio of young, talented safeties: Julian Love, Xavier McKinney, and Jabrill Peppers. Last season, Jabrill Peppers was arguably the best player on the Giants’ defense. The hard-hitting strong safety was a playmaker for the team in the eleven games he played. But could Peppers undergo a position change this year and fill the Giants’ second cornerback position?

This is one of many topics that we discussed in this week’s episode of Fireside Giants. You can find all the links to watch or listen to this week’s episode HERE.


In an interview with the NY Post last week, Jabrill Peppers’s trainer, Brian Walker, threw out the idea of Peppers playing cornerback in 2020. According to Ryan Dunleavy of the NY Post, Walker “thinks cornerback could be Peppers’ best NFL position.” Walker compared Peppers to the likes of Stephon Gilmore and Byron Jones:

“You could see him with a Gilmore — same shape, same body — where he could lock down a half [of the field],” Walker said. “This staff is used to having really good, really strong cornerbacks. Personally, I feel like he could make the jump like Jones. Both athletic guys. They just needed more time to develop in terms of technique.” – Brian Walker via the NY Post

Jabrill Peppers was excellent in run-support for the Giants last season. He totaled 76 combined tackles, 5 tackles for loss, and 3 forced fumbles in 11 games in 2019. Moving him to cornerback would diminish this facet of his game. But what if he could make that transition? Having a strong cornerback like Jabrill Peppers on the outside could be exactly what the Giants need.

Peppers has been a bit inconsistent in coverage throughout his career. However, Brian Walker also mentioned that Jabrill Peppers has improved his speed and athleticism this offseason:

“He looks like he did as a [New Jersey] state champion sprinter,” trainer Brian Walker told The Post. “Movement-wise, he looks free. He’s maintained that speed and strength, even though he is leaning up.” – Brian Walker via the NY Post

Jabrill Peppers is an ideal strong safety. But he might provide more value to the team if he can be an ideal outside cornerback. At the very least, the Giants should give Jabrill some reps at outside cornerback in training camp and see how he fares. Jabrill Peppers could be exactly what the Giants’ defense needs.

New York Giants Secondary Improved Little In 2020 According To PFF

New York Giants, DeAndre Baker

Going into the 2020 season, one of the most important points for the New York Giants will be improving their play in the secondary.

There were too many times last season when opposing quarterbacks were able to turn bad situations into good ones through picking apart openings in the Giants’ passing defense on second and third downs.

And while play from DeAndre Baker started to improve later in the year, it remains to be seen when Baker will get off the commissioner’s exempt list and return to the team. Even if he does return, it’s debatable if his play will be up to standard.

There’s some decent reasons to not have an optimistic view of the Giants secondary this year. Even if the team did add a big player through the draft in Xavier McKinney.

The Pro Football Focus take on the secondary

Pro Football Focus had their own take on the secondary and in their rankings of each one in the league, the Giants were one of the worst. The team comes in at number 27 on the PFF list. While the list claims James Bradberry will likely see a step up in performance after the move in divisions, it’s not as confident in some of the other players in the secondary.

DeAndre Baker struggled badly as a rookie and was beaten for eight touchdowns in total, though his future is somewhat up in the air, given the reported off-field troubles. Beyond Baker, the Giants would be turning to Sam Beal, who played fewer than 300 snaps last year, or one of either Corey Ballentine, Darnay Holmes, Chris Williamson or Montre Hartage. So, for as much as Baker struggled last year, the prospects of a season without him would not be good.

The article goes on to speak about the team’s lack of depth further by pointing out how Grant Haley, one of the likely contenders for slot corner, didn’t do all that well when targeted last year. Furthermore, Julian Love’s development may end up wasted when Xavier McKinney likely takes over his spot at safety.

Is it really all that bad, though?

Well, a lot of that depends on the unknown. DeAndre Baker wasn’t great last year but the Giants don’t have many other credible options at this point at the number two spot. And we don’t know how Grant Haley will play after getting more experience. Xavier McKinney could make a huge impact as a rookie or could take longer to adjust.

And because of so many unknowns as well as younger players being involved in large roles, it’s hard to say one way or the other if the Giants really are one of the worst secondaries in the NFL.

New York Giants: Top Players/Positions To Monitor In Training Camp 2020

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

Football is back! The New York Giants officially reported to training camp on Tuesday, marking the beginning of the 2020 NFL season. Veterans reported to training camp today as the team does its first wave of COVID-19 testing. This will be a crucial season for the Giants as they enter the year with a brand new coaching staff and a revamped roster.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no preseason this year, making training camp that much more important. Many of those players who standout in the preseason to earn their roster spots will not be afforded such an opportunity this year. Instead, the Giants’ new coaching staff will have to gauge their players’ talents in training camp alone.

With that being the case, who are the top players, or what are the top positions to watch during training camp in 2020?

You can check out the video version of this article below, or continue scrolling for the written version:

New York Giants: DeAndre Baker Placed On Commissioner’s Exempt List

New York Giants, DeAndre Baker

New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker has officially been placed on the NFL commissioner’s exempt list, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. This is big news for the Giants who are set to begin training camp tomorrow. DeAndre Baker was planning on reporting to training camp, but the NFL has now decided to take action. The Giants have also now made a decision; they are not granting DeAndre Baker permission to participate in training camp or other team activities. DeAndre will have to wait until his legal situation is ironed out before he can return to the Giants.

DeAndre Baker is accused of committing armed robbery and has eight felony charges looming overhead. The legal situation is unresolved, though, and prosecutors have not yet determined whether to proceed with the case. Because of this uncertainty, Commissioner Goodell has placed DeAndre Baker on the commissioner’s exempt list.

What Is The Commissioner’s Exempt List and How Does It Work?

Essentially, the commissioner’s exempt list places DeAndre Baker on paid leave. He will still be a member of the New York Giants but he will not be a participating member of the team:

“While on the commissioner’s exempt list, a player is paid as if he were on the active roster, yet he does not count against his team’s 53-man active roster limit. A player on the exempt list is not allowed to practice or attend games, but he is allowed to be present at the facility for meetings, to work out, and to receive treatment.” – via NBC Sports.

“The Exempt List is a special player status available to clubs only in unusual circumstances. The List includes those players who have been declared by the Commissioner to be temporarily exempt from counting within the Active List limit. Only the Commissioner has the authority to place a player on the Exempt List; clubs have no such authority, and no exemption, regardless of circumstances, is automatic.” –

DeAndre Baker will continue to be a New York Giant for as long as he is not found guilty. The Giants had not cut ties with Baker yet because there is a chance that he is found innocent and exonerated of these charges. Baker was a first-round pick just two years ago and is viewed as a key building block for the Giants’ defense. The hope is for DeAndre to be found innocent and continue his career with the Giants. But for as long as this case is unsettled, Baker will remain on the commissioner’s exempt list.

New York Giants: DeAndre Baker and Aldrick Rosas To Report To Training Camp

The New York Giants have had two key players on their roster dealing with legal trouble this offseason. The first of the two, cornerback DeAndre Baker, was arrested earlier this offseason after being accused of committing armed robbery. The case has had numerous developments arise since it began in May but Baker has not yet been found guilty or innocent.

Kicker Aldrick Rosas also found himself in legal trouble after a hit-and-run car accident in California last month. Rosas was charged with three misdemeanors – reckless driving on the highway, hit and run property damage, and driving with a license suspended for DUI. Contradictory to earliest reports, Rosas was not tested for driving under the influence.

Upon hearing the news of Baker’s accusations, the Giants asked him to distance himself from the team’s virtual meetings. Baker has been training on his own since then and has not been given permission to join virtual meetings for the entirety of the offseason.

Rosas And Baker To Report To Camp

According to a new report by the New York Post, Rosas and Baker’s time away from the team is about to end. Paul Schwartz and Ryan Dunleavy report that the Giants have not told DeAndre Baker or Aldrick Rosas to stay away from training camp, so they are both planning on attending. Training camp begins on Tuesday for the Giants.

Neither DeAndre Baker nor Aldrick Rosas has had their legal situations resolved yet. Baker’s attorney Patrick Patel is “hopeful of a dismissal soon” and stated that the case is “pending.” The NY Post also reports that Rosas “has an arraignment hearing Sept. 4 that does not require an in-person appearance” which allows him to be with the team at training camp until the case is resolved.

In the United States of America, you are innocent until proven guilty. The Giants are doing the right thing by allowing their players to participate in training camp, despite their pending legal situations.

Both players struggled in the 2019 regular season. With no preseason in 2020, this summer’s training camp could be crucial for each player’s future in the league. Luckily for Baker and Rosas, they are officially receiving the opportunity to prove themselves on the field, starting next week.