Giants Release DeAndre Baker
The Giants officially released cornerback DeAndre Baker Tuesday, thus bringing to an end a rocky, short tenure for the former Georgia star.
Baker, whom the Giants traded up to obtain in the first round of last year’s draft—they gave up fourth- and fifth-round picks to move up to No. 30 overall to select him—struggled to adapt to life in the NFL.
With there being whispers of concern about his work ethic when he was coming out of college, the young defender did little to dispel those rumors through the first half of the season.
He allowed five of his eight touchdowns surrendered during the year over that stretch while also failing to record any interceptions and logging just one pass breakup in 276 pass coverage snaps, per Pro Football Focus.
Baker struggled so much that the former coaching staff decided to rotate him with Sam Beal in the second half of the season opposite of then-starter Janoris Jenkins.
The strategy appeared to work at first. In the second half of the season, Baker only gave up two touchdowns while recording six pass breakups. But when Jenkins was let go on December 13, and Baker’s snaps increased, he would allow two touchdowns while breaking up just two passes in the increased action.
Still, the Giants had high hopes for Baker in his second season after hiring a new coaching staff under head coach Joe Judge.
But Baker, whom both Giants general manager Dave Gettleman and team COO John Mara insisted had nothing in his background to suggest any potential criminal activity, found himself in trouble with the law following a May 13 social gathering in Florida in which Baker was accused of committing armed robbery with a firearm.
Baker has since been formally charged with four counts of robbery with a firearm and is facing life in prison if convicted. The Giants began to separate themselves from Baker shortly after news of the alleged incident occurred by telling him to stay away from the virtual off-season program and focus on his legal issues.
This summer, the Giants requested and were granted a roster exemption for Baker, who had planned to participate in training camp. The cornerback remained on the Commissioner’s Exempt list, where he was eligible for a small weekly stipend given to players in training camp.
With news of his release, the Giants will look to have all remaining guaranteed money left in Baker’s four-year contract voided. They are also expected to recoup some of his signing bonus, which might prove challenging since Baker has not been convicted of any crimes in a court of law.