Deandre Baker

Giants Waive CB DeAndre Baker

As expected, the Giants have officially parted ways with cornerback Deandre Baker. The 22-year-old will be available for the rest of the league on the waiver wire, but it seems unlikely that he’ll be claimed.

[RELATED: Giants Cut WR Corey Coleman]

Baker is alleged to have robbed a party at gunpoint in May. Originally, Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar was charged as his accomplice, but the Broward State Attorney’s office declined to pursue charges against him. Baker still has felony charges to face, plus allegations of bribing witnesses.

Baker, the No. 30 overall pick in the 2019 draft, appeared in all 16 of the Giants’ games last year, including 15 starts. He notched eight passes defensed, but still looked pretty green on the whole. The Giants were expecting a big leap forward from him this year, up until the incident in Florida.

If convicted, Baker could face life in prison. Meanwhile, the Giants will attempt to recoup some of Baker’s $10.5MM in guarantees.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Expected To Cut DeAndre Baker

DeAndre Baker‘s legal process ran into a delay this week. His arraignment will take place in January, after previously being on tap for September. The Giants may not wait for the legal process to play out.

They are expected to cut Baker before this takes place, Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post reports. Baker currently resides on the commissioner’s exempt list and will not be on New York’s 53-man roster to start the season. He can be cut at any point, however. Giants GM Dave Gettleman said this week the Giants are still determining their Baker decision.

Contractual matters are holding up the Baker move, Dunleavy adds, with the team appearing committed to moving on from what looks like a major draft miss. Baker, 22, has been charged with four counts of robbery with a firearm in connection with an incident that took place earlier this year in Florida. He has also been hit with a civil suit and was connected to an attempt to pay off witnesses earlier this summer. The Giants will attempt to recoup some of Baker’s $10.5MM in guarantees, Dunleavy notes.

The Giants traded up in the 2019 first round to select Baker, but the Georgia product struggled for most of his rookie season. His deal, which calls for a $973K base salary this season, runs through 2022. If convicted, Baker could face up to life in prison.

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NFC East Notes: Eagles, Giants, Smith

Jalen Reagor will miss the Eagles‘ season opener, and possibly the first two games of the year, with a labrum tear, Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram hears. The silver lining is that Reagor’s shoulder injury is not major and he will not require surgery. Reagor, the No. 21 overall pick in the draft, racked up 2,248 yards and 22 touchdowns over the course of three seasons at TCU. The speedster figures to play a significant role in the Eagles’ offense when he returns.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Carson Wentz has missed multiple Eagles practices due to an unspecified soft tissue injury, per Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer, but Doug Pederson indicated the fifth-year quarterback is not dealing with anything major. While any Wentz injury is notable given his history, he will be expected to be under center in Week 1.
  • Logan Ryan‘s Giants deal is a one-year pact worth $5MM in base value, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. The extra $2.5MM in Ryan’s contract comes through incentives. A playing-time structure covers $1.5MM of the incentives, with Florio adding that Ryan can earn up to $1.5MM through these escalators. Ryan would earn that sum if he plays 90% of the Giants’ snaps, however, and it would take an 80% snap rate for him to collect $1MM. The other $1MM in this deal involves accolades, with Ryan receiving $500K for a Pro Bowl honor and another $500K for an All-Pro nod. The seven-year veteran has never made a Pro Bowl.
  • For the first time since his gruesome November 2018 injury, Alex Smith participated in team drills. The Washington quarterback took snaps in 11-on-11 sessions, John Keim of ESPN.com notes. Washington was not in full pads during this session, but the 36-year-old passer continues to work his way back after what looked like a career-ending injury. Ron Rivera would like to see Smith participate in a fully padded team session this week. Smith’s 2020 base salary ($16MM) is guaranteed. He is set to count $21.4MM against Washington’s cap this season.
  • Jason Peters has requested a raise to move back to left tackle, and it is not clear the Eagles will oblige. Peters is still working at guard with Philly, which has used Matt Pryor in place of injured left tackle Andre Dillard, per Bowen. A sixth-round pick in 2018, Pryor did not play as a rookie and has seen only 79 snaps of NFL action. Pryor primarily worked as a guard at TCU, though he made six starts at right tackle as a senior. This would be an interesting route for the Eagles to take, however, given their usual commitment to their offensive line.
  • DeAndre Baker‘s arraignment date has been moved back four months, with the New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard reporting the Giants cornerback is now set to appear in court Jan. 20, 2021. This could potentially close the book on Baker’s 2020 season. A 2019 first-round pick, Baker faces four charges of armed robbery with a firearm. He resides on the commissioner’s exempt list.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

DeAndre Baker Facing Four Charges For Robbery; No Charges For Quinton Dunbar

Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker will be charged with four counts of robbery with a firearm, per an announcement from the Broward State Attorney’s office. Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar – who was previously alleged to be his accomplice – will not face charges, due to a lack of evidence.

Both players are currently on the commissioner’s exempt list, which bars them from playing or practicing. The Giants effectively beat the league to the punch on that front, having asked Baker to stay home shortly after the incident. The Seahawks, on the other hand, had Dunbar log in for virtual offseason activities.

Baker was originally facing eight felony charges while Dunbar was facing four. Recently, Baker was reported to be involved in an attempt to pay off witnesses to recant their statements related to the robbery. Dunbar’s former attorney, Michael Grieco, was allegedly involved in this scheme as well. Baker’s attorney denies this occurred and said his client has passed a lie detector test.

Baker, entering his second year as a pro, was a first-round pick of the Giants in 2019. He was their biggest draft investment at cornerback since Eli Apple, but he struggled in coverage as a rookie. The Giants were hoping to see him take a step forward as a starter this year, but it seems unlikely that he’ll take the field anytime soon.

Dunbar, meanwhile, was traded from the Washington Football Team to the Seahawks. Last year, Pro Football Focus graded him as one of the league’s best corners, and he finished out with four interceptions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Deandre Baker, Quinton Dunbar

Giants cornerback Deandre Baker has been placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt list, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Baker, of course, is facing several charges for his alleged role in an armed robbery. Dunbar has landed on the list as well, Rapoport adds (via Twitter). Both players will appeal this placement, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter links).

The Exempt list means that Baker and Dunbar will be barred from playing or practicing, though they will be paid while they wait in limbo with the league office. Effectively, the Exempt list is used to give the NFL time to wait things out while legal matters and the league’s own investigation plays out. Earlier this year, the Giants asked Baker to stay home and focus on his off-the-field matters. The Seahawks, however, were including Dunbar in their virtual offseason.

Baker is facing eight felony charges stemming from his alleged involvement in an armed robbery that took place in May. Dunbar faces four. Last month, Baker was reported to be involved in an attempt to pay off witnesses to recant their statements related to the robbery. Dunbar’s former attorney, Michael Grieco, was allegedly involved in this scheme as well. Baker’s attorney denies this occurred and said his client has passed a lie detector test.

Prior to Monday’s news, the Giants had not informed Baker to stay away from camp. The second-year cornerback was planning on attending, per Schwartz. The Giants traded back into the first round to draft Baker in 2019. He represents their biggest draft investment in a cornerback since they used a top-10 pick on Eli Apple four years ago. Baker struggled in coverage as a rookie but was expected to remain a starter under new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham this season. Monday’s news will stall such plans and may well force the Giants to look at possible replacement options — at least for the time being.

Seattle sent a fifth-round pick to Washington for Dunbar, whom Pro Football Focus graded as one of the NFL’s best corners in a breakout, four-interception 2019 season. The sixth-year defender landing on the Exempt list, however, will force the Seahawks to play other corners in his place. Seattle’s 2019 starters, Shaquill Griffin and Tre Flowers, remain on the roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Quinton Dunbar-Deandre Baker Case

Amidst allegations that he facilitated a payoff of victims in an effort to convince them to change their stories, Michael Grieco, defense attorney for Seahawks CB Quinton Dunbar, has withdrawn his appearance, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets. Dunbar will move forward with the counsel he hired last week, Michael D. Weinstein.

Grieco offered the following statement: “We agreed that new counsel would allow for continued advocacy of Mr. Dunbar’s innocence without any collateral distractions.” Indeed, Grieco was under criminal investigation for his role in the alleged payoff as of June, though it’s unclear whether that investigation is still ongoing.

Given these new developments, it does not sound as if the cases against Dunbar and Giants CB Deandre Baker are going away anytime soon. And John Clayton of 710 ESPN Seattle hears from one of the Miami Herald reporters who is covering the story, David Ovalle, that courts in the region are so backed up due to coronavirus closures that it could take until 2021 or 2022 for the matter to proceed to court.

Clayton’s story does not reference how courts are handling criminal defendants’ speedy trial rights in the wake of COVID-19, but assuming that the cases for Baker and Dunbar do indeed get pushed back that far, their immediate NFL futures become even more difficult to predict (not to mention their long-term futures as free member of society). In ordinary circumstances, the league might put them on the commissioner’s exempt list until there is a resolution — which Clayton suggests could still happen — but our COVID-19 reality is anything but ordinary. And while the league could suspend the players, it would have to be an indefinite suspension that could last several years.

So, for now, it seems as if Dunbar and Baker are free to play, assuming their respective teams allow them to do so. Clayton confirms earlier rumors that the Giants are considering cutting Baker, but we have not yet heard that Seattle plans to move on from Dunbar.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Quinton Dunbar’s Attorney Criminally Investigated

The alleged cover-up attempt surrounding a incident in May that resulted in felony charges for Giants CB Deandre Baker and Seahawks CB Quinton Dunbar created a major plot twist in the evolving saga. The latest reports suggest that a witness to the incident, Dominic “Coach” Johnson, worked with Baker and Dunbar’s attorney, Michael Grieco, to pay other witnesses to recant their earlier testimony implicating the NFL players.

And according to Nicholas Nehamas, David Ovalle, and David Smiley of the Miami Herald, Grieco was under criminal investigation for his involvement at least as of last month. A spokeswoman for Miramar (Fla.) police said she could not comment on whether Grieco was still being investigated.

Grieco issued a statement saying that the witnesses are “seasoned career criminals” who have been attempting to extort Baker and Dunbar from the jump. Video footage, however, suggests that the alleged payoff took place at Grieco’s office, and Grieco presented to police affidavits from those very same witnesses immediately after the meeting. All five affidavits, according to police, are identical.

It’s not a good look for Grieco, Dunbar — who has retained additional counsel — or Baker. But Baker’s attorney, Bradford Cohen, says his client paid no one, has passed a lie detector test, and is the victim of a smear tactic (Twitter link).

Patrick Patel, an attorney who represents Baker in NFL-related matters — but who appears to be involved in strategizing his criminal defense just the same — tells Paul Schwartz of the New York Post that he and Cohen knew about the payoff attempt, and that they encouraged Baker to participate in the farce in order to expose it for what it really was. If that’s true, of course, then that means Grieco and Dunbar may indeed have paid for what they got.

As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk points out, Dunbar and Baker may well have committed the crimes as alleged, but the victims may have seen an opportunity to cash in just the same. Both things can be true. But at this point, it looks as though Dunbar’s and Baker’s respective approaches must diverge, so this matter just became even more fascinating to follow.

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks have not yet considered cutting Dunbar, though Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News — who broke the original payoff story — cites unnamed Giants sources who said they don’t expect Baker to be on the club much longer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On DeAndre Baker, Quinton Dunbar

A cover-up attempt has surfaced in the DeAndre BakerQuinton Dunbar saga. A witness to the alleged armed robbery in May worked with Baker, along with Dunbar’s attorney, in an effort to pay off other witnesses and clear the cornerbacks of wrongdoing, according to a Broward County (Fla.) search warrant obtained by Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.

The witness named in the warrant, Dominic Johnson, allegedly said in an Instagram direct message he “made them (witnesses) that said they got robbed come in and say them Boys ain’t have nothing to Do with it (sic).”

Video evidence of Baker, Johnson and four other witnesses’ involvement in the payoff — held at the office of Dunbar’s attorney, Michael Grieco — also exists, Leonard adds. The four victims were allegedly paid $55K total to recant their sworn statements that Baker and Dunbar took part in an armed robbery.

Baker, 22, and Dunbar, 27, remain under investigation for the alleged robbery. This certainly complicates matters for the Giants and Seahawks defenders. Dunbar had resumed offseason work with the Seahawks before they wrapped up their virtual slate, while the Giants told Baker to stay away from the team for the time being.

In May, authorities said Baker and Dunbar teamed up to rob partiers at gunpoint. The police report out of Miramar, Fla., claims that Baker had the weapon while Dunbar did the looting. Some witnesses said that Baker also directed a third man to shoot someone (ultimately, no one at the scene was shot).

The warrant indicates Baker asked Johnson how much cash he should bring for the payoff, Leonard reports. The alleged payoff occurred May 15, two days after the alleged robbery and a day before Baker surrendered to police. Another message sent from Johnson’s Instagram account indicates he convinced the other four witnesses to sign papers recanting their statements that originally led to Baker and Dunbar’s arrests, according to the warrant.

Baker has pleaded not guilty to eight felony charges; Dunbar pleaded not guilty to four. Dunbar has hired a second attorney, though Grieco is still working on the case as well.

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Latest On Giants’ DeAndre Baker

Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker is facing serious jail time for his alleged role in an armed robbery, but his lawyer continues to insist that the charges against him will be dismissed. This week, attorney Patrick Patel told Paul Schwartz of the New York Post that he has “at least two witnesses that will testify to Baker’s innocence.

[RELATED: Baker, Dunbar Accused Of Armed Robbery]

Authorities say Baker and Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar teamed up to rob partiers at gunpoint in May. The police report out of Miramar, Florida claims that Baker had the weapon while Dunbar did the looting. Some witnesses said that Baker also directed a third man to shoot someone (ultimately, no one at the scene was shot). Together, cops say the cornerbacks made off with ~$7K in cash, a $25K Hublot watch, an $18K Rolex, and an Audemars Piguet.

Baker is facing a total of eight charges – four counts of armed robbery with a firearm, plus four counts of aggravated assault. Each of the four armed robbery charges carry a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison. Patel says the accusations against his client – a 2019 first-round pick – are without merit. Ditto for Dunbar’s lawyer. Both defense attorneys have been adamant in their pre-trial defense and very accommodating to media inquiries over the last six weeks.

The Giants have kept Baker out of their virtual offseason activities and they may ask him to stay at home once they resume on-field workouts. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have allowed Dunbar to log on for their Zoom chats.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Giants’ DeAndre Baker

The lawyer for DeAndre Baker believes the charges against his client could be dropped by the end of the week, as Ralph Vacchiano of SNY writes. So far, Baker’s defense team has been vocal, brash, and confident in the face of felony charges for armed robbery.

[RELATED: Giants’ DeAndre Baker, Seahawks’ Quinton Dunbar Accused Of Armed Robbery]

I think we’ve got the case won, to be honest with you. I think it’s only a matter of time,” Patrick G. Patel said. “But it’s the kid’s life. This kid will get suspended and lose his job, and then the case gets dismissed and what have we done? So everybody’s taking a wait and see approach.”

The lawyer representing Quinton Dunbar – the Seahawks cornerback and alleged accomplice of Baker in the Florida incident – has expressed similar sentiments. Of course, it’s the job of a defense attorney to cast doubt on allegations and push back against charges being levied, so it all has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Baker’s lawyer says that the Giants second-year pro was the victim of a “shakedown,” noting that four of the witnesses involved have already recanted their testimony. Meanwhile, he’s teamed with Dunbar’s lawyer and claims that he’s uncovered independent witnesses that can vouch for their innocence.

As of this writing, Florida authorities are sticking to their version of events. They say Baker held people at gunpoint at a cookout while Dunbar robbed them. Some witnesses claimed that Dunbar also had a gun and there may have been a third man involved. Ultimately, police say, they walked off with expensive watches and about $7K in cash.

Despite Patel’s claims, Baker remains in limbo with his club. In mid-May, the Giants asked him to stay away from team activities in order to focus on his legal matters.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.