The Chiefs have cut cornerback Deandre Baker, as Adam Teicher of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter). After Kansas City injected a great deal of new blood into its CB room this offseason, Baker found himself on the wrong side of the roster bubble.
A first-round pick of the Giants in 2019, Baker played in all 16 games in his rookie season, including 15 starts. He did not perform particularly well, yielding a 116.2 passer rating and earning a poor 48.4 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, but as a Day 1 selection, Baker was in line to get another extended look in 2020 for a rebuilding New York outfit.
However, Baker’s career quickly went off the rails. The Georgia product was alleged to have robbed a party at gunpoint in May 2020, and the Giants had already waived him by the time charges were dropped, thereby ending a sordid saga that included the attorney for three of Baker’s accusers being arrested on extortion charges. Shortly after he was criminally cleared, Baker hooked on with the Chiefs’ taxi squad and wound up appearing in two games (one start) for KC towards the end of the 2020 campaign.
The Chiefs were intrigued enough to retain Baker for the 2021 season, and he appeared in eight games (one start) for the club last year. His performance still left much to be desired, and while Kansas City kept him in the fold this offseason, the team also drafted three corners — including first-round choice Trent McDuffie — and traded for former Texans CB Lonnie Johnson Jr.
Having failed to impress during his limited time in Kansas City, Baker was squeezed out by the new acquisitions. The soon-to-be 25-year-old will surely get another opportunity, as teams are always on the lookout for CB depth (especially when that depth comes with a first-round pedigree). But he will need to start displaying skills commensurate with that pedigree in order to stay in the NFL for the long haul.