Former Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker’s nearly six-month legal odyssey is finally behind him, but now begins his quest of landing with an NFL team to resume his career.
That team doesn’t sound like it will be the Giants, who cut Baker back in September after it appeared at the time that he would be prosecuted on multiple felony charges related to armed robbery.
Giants head coach Joe Judge, when asked about Baker, said, “I wish him the best of luck in the future. We’ve made the decision that we think is best for the program, and that’s really all I have to say about that.”
Despite no longer having Baker on the roster, the Giants are facing a bit of a pickle regarding Baker’s rookie contract, especially considering that the NFL salary cap is set to dip to as low as $176 million next year, making it difficult for teams to carry a lot of dead money on their cap.
By cutting Baker when they did in September, the transaction falls under the post-June 1 category meaning the Giants were hit with the prorated part of Baker’s signing bonus ($1,418,766) which the team is currently carrying on its 2020 salary cap. The rest of Baker’s signing bonus ($2,837,532) will accelerate into their 2021 cap, where currently the Giants have $3,129,493 in dead money.
Because of the circumstances surrounding Baker’s release at the time, any guaranteed money in the form of base salary was voided.
The Giants were never thought to be planning to try to recover any of Baker’s signing bonus. With the charges having been dropped against him, any such attempt now would likely be ruled in the player’s favor.
One final note regarding Baker’s rookie deal. Since he wasn’t claimed off waivers, if he should sign with another team, it will be on a brand-new contract.