How the Giants' Salary Cap is Affected if DeAndre Baker is Released

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Patricia Traina

The shocking and disappointing developments in cornerback DeAndre Baker’s off-season have cast a pall over his NFL future.

Baker and Seattle cornerback Quinton Dunbar currently have a warrant out for their arrests in connection with a May 13 incident in Miramar, Florida, which Baker was alleged to have directed Dunbar in robbing four people of thousands of dollars worth of cash and valuables while Baker wielded a semiautomatic firearm.

The 22-year-old Baker could be looking at least ten years in prison if he's convicted of any of the charges, depending on a judge's sentencing.

For the time being, potential sentencing is a long way off, as Baker and Dunbar, as of 10 a.m. ET Friday morning, remained at large.

Although the Giants haven’t terminated Baker’s contract, it would be hard to fathom them keeping Baker, even if the cornerback is placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, which allows a team to retain the rights to a player’s services while he deals with an off-field issue.

Given the seriousness of the allegations, Baker is potentially looking at weeks, if not months of court hearings, to determine the extent of his involvement in the alleged incidents.

In carrying a player on the commissioner’s exempt list—a move that can only be initiated by Commissioner Roger Goodell—the Giants would still be on the hook for paying Baker while he deals with his legal issues.

But what happens if the Giants decide to cut ties with Baker? How much of his four-year rookie contract, which is valued at $10.52 million with slightly over $9 million guaranteed, could they recoup?

The answer is the Giants could seek to void the remainder of the guaranteed money on the basis that Baker committed conduct detrimental to the team if such a clause exists in his contract.

According to Over the Cap, Baker’s 2020 and 2021 base salaries are 100% guaranteed, while $907,257 of his $1.930 million base salary in 2022 is guaranteed.

They could also seek to recoup the remaining $4.256 million of Baker’s signing bonus, though that might be more difficult to recoup.

Baker’s cap hits for the remaining three years of his deal aren’t necessarily bank-breakers. He’s due to count for $2.3392 million this year, $2.87 million in 2021, and $3.349 million in 2022.

As a first-round draft pick, he also would have had a fifth-year option, which given the circumstances, is unlikely to be exercised. 

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

Quick let’s trade him to the Jets for Adams