Deandre Baker

NFC East Notes: Baker, Redskins, Jeffery

DeAndre Baker‘s future with the Giants is up in the air after his arrest on eight charges stemming from an alleged armed robbery earlier this month. The Giants have told the cornerback to stay away from their offseason activities, but since they are unfolding in a virtual capacity, such a stance has a less noticeable effect. And Baker scored a victory this week. A judge approved a request by Baker’s attorney that will allow the second-year cornerback to leave the state, Dan Duggan of The Athletic tweets. This would allow Baker to travel from Florida to New Jersey for Giants training camp. The Giants have kept Baker away from their voluntary virtual offseason since the incident but banning him from mandatory training camp would be a suspension. The team has not crossed that bridge yet.

Here is the latest from the NFC East, moving first to some of the happenings involving Washington’s offense:

  • Ron Rivera has said a shortened training camp would work in Kyle Allen‘s favor due to the recently acquired quarterback’s knowledge of Redskins OC Scott Turner‘s system. On Wednesday, however, Turner praised Dwayne Haskins‘ work during the team’s virtual program. “When we’re talking to him [on Zoom sessions], he’s speaking the language,” Turner said, via ESPN’s John Keim. “It’s pretty easy to tell if they get it or not. Dwayne’s doing a great job. You can tell he’s putting the work in away from the meeting time.” Being drafted by a different regime and having finished with Football Outsiders’ worst QBR figure last season, Haskins is already facing a critical season as he begins work under Rivera and Turner.
  • The Redskins signed Peyton Barber and J.D. McKissic and drafted hybrid-type player Antonio Gibson in Round 3. They also employ Derrius Guice and Bryce Love, both of whom coming off injuries. Adrian Peterson‘s spot in Washington is not a given, despite the future Hall of Famer leading the Redskins in rushing the past two years. But Turner said (via NBC Sports Washington’s J.P. Finlay, on Twitter) he has “a ton” of respect for Peterson and that there is a role in his offense for “that type of back.” Peterson has never offered too much in the passing game, having not exceeded 300 receiving yards in a season since 2010. But the 35-year-old back surpassed four yards per carry in each of his two Washington seasons.
  • Coming off a Lisfranc injury, Eagles wideout Alshon Jeffery may not be ready for the season. Both Zach Berman and Bo Wulf of The Athletic (subscription required) expect the ninth-year wideout to start the year on the PUP list. This would shelve Jeffery for at least six weeks to start the season. The Eagles have shopped Jeffery in trades since last season and made several moves to add wideouts last month. But Jeffery’s contract makes a trade hard to envision.

Latest On DeAndre Baker, Quinton Dunbar

After being released on bond, Deandre Baker and Quinton Dunbar have entered not guilty pleas, as ESPN.com’s Cameron Wolfe writes. Baker is facing eight charges in connection with the alleged armed robbery in Florida; Dunbar is facing four counts. 

[RELATED: DeAndre Baker, Quinton Dunbar Released On Bond]

Meanwhile, the attorneys for both cornerbacks are going on the offensive. Michael Grieco, the lawyer representing Dunbar, says it’s “completely untrue” that the duo gambled away $70K before the night in question (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson). Furthermore, Grieco claims that they’re not especially close friends and they weren’t together at all in the weeks leading up to the fateful Wednesday.

The police department in Miramar, Florida has a different account of things. Authorities say Baker held partygoers at gunpoint while Dunbar robbed them. Some witnesses claimed that Dunbar also had a gun. With the aid of a third man wearing a mask, Miramar PD says they ran off with thousands of dollars, plus a Rolex, Hublot, and a Audemars Piguet.

Now, the duo will wait to find out whether the charges will actually be filed. Grieco expects word within a month and, ultimately, believes that his client will be cleared. Either way, the NFL is expected to conduct its own investigation into the matter.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

DeAndre Baker, Quinton Dunbar Released On Bond

Shortly after surrendering to police, Giants CB DeAndre Baker and Seahawks CB Quinton Dunbar have posted bond and have been released from jail, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports. Baker was granted a $200K bond ($25K for each of the eight charges he is facing), and Dunbar was granted a $100K bond ($25K for each of his four charges).

Both players have been ordered to remain in Florida at this time, though Broward County Judge Michael Davis also said that the matter would be given further consideration when Baker and Dunbar need to leave the state for work (i.e., when the league is no longer operating virtually). The Giants have told Baker to stay away from team meetings — he had been participating in most of the club’s virtual offseason program — so that he can focus on his legal issues.

The fact that the players received fairly “light” bonds relative to their income suggests to some, like New York-based criminal defense attorney David Touger, that the prosecution’s case is not particularly strong (via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post). “The prosecution does not seem to have gone at Baker or his co-defendant very hard,” Touger said. “If they had a strong case one could assume that they would have really fought hard for remand and no bail.”

But according to Fowler, the state did indeed request remand, the judge just did not grant it (perhaps due to Baker’s and Dunbar’s lack of criminal history). Dunbar’s attorney presented five affidavits — four from alleged victims and one from a witness — recanting statements they had previously made to police. The state found it suspicious that those recantations came just 36 hours after the statements were made and pertained specifically to Dunbar, though Baker’s attorney proffered that he has some affidavits of his own and is not playing all his cards at the moment. He did share one affidavit from a mutual friend of Dunbar and Baker who said that Baker did not take any property from him and did not point a gun at anyone.

Obviously, this matter is still in its early stages. Even the best-case scenario for Baker and Dunbar probably includes a suspension of some kind, especially since the disturbing allegations stem from an illegal dice gambling game.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Seahawks, Dunbar, Lions, Davis

Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar surrendered to police, hours after his alleged accomplice Deandre Baker did the same on Saturday. Dunbar’s attorney Michael Grieco shared the news on Instagram and, just like Baker’s attorney, he vehemently denied the accusations against his client.

As I write this an innocent man sits in jail, facing charges that hold no water,” Grieco wrote. “His career and reputation have been put in jeopardy as a result of an overzealous [Miramar, Florida police department] that was so excited about arresting a pro football player that they tweeted out their celebration and even tagged his employer in their virtual touchdown dance…When this case gets dropped ,I wonder if the Miramar cops will be tweeting out their apology too.”

Dunbar is facing four felony counts of armed robbery with a firearm. Regardless of the legal outcome, he could be in for a world of trouble with Roger Goodell & Co.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • The Seahawks addressed their need for a veteran backup quarterback by re-signing Geno Smith on Thursday, but there’s still more mid-offseason work to be done. In addition to their obvious need for edge rushing help, they could still use some experience at running back, plus a run-stuffing defensive tackle to help replace the void left by Al Woods‘ departure, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Even though the Lions turned down Jarrad Davis‘ option for 2021, the linebacker says that he’s more motivated than ever to perform. “I’m here to win games and to go out and compete each and every day,” Davis said (via Benjamin Raven of MLive.com). “We’ve got a lot of guys in the room right now that are going to breathe a lot of competition at our linebacker position and make us a better defense. I’m really excited just to get back to work. Fifth-year option situation, it is what it is.” This year, Davis will look to restore his value and cash in as a free agent in 2021. The former first-round pick hasn’t lived up to expectations so far, but new Lions ‘backers Jamie Collins and Reggie Ragland should help to take some of the pressure off.
  • On Friday, the Saints added running back Ty Montgomery to their stable. Montgomery showed tremendous promise with the Packers in 2016, when he averaged 5.9 yards per carry. He could shine once again in a smaller role with the Saints, playing behind Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray.

Giants CB DeAndre Baker Surrenders To Police

Giants cornerback Deandre Baker turned himself in to police on Saturday morning, his lawyer announced (via Instagram). Baker is facing a number of felony counts in connection with an armed robbery, though he maintains his innocence. 

[RELATED: Baker, Dunbar Wanted For Armed Robbery]

Police reports are just that, reports of what was told to them or said to them,” said attorney Bradford Cohen. “Court is what we use to then examine those reports, investigate those claims and allow the defendant an opportunity to confront the evidence. Don’t rush to judgement.”

The witness statement and police reports claim that Baker held people at gunpoint while fellow NFL cornerback Quinton Dunbar grabbed the loot. Police are pursuing a total of eight charges against Baker while Dunbar is looking at four. The Giants, Seahawks, and the NFL have all declined to comment on the matter, except to say that they are aware of the situation. Dunbar, presumably, will follow suit by cooperating with the authorities.

In his final year at Georgia, Baker won the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate defensive back. In that season, he finished out with 40 tackles, two sacks, nine passes defended, and two interceptions. The 5-foot-11 cornerback started and struggled for most of his rookie season; the Giants were hoping to see a major step forward from him in 2020. At this point, his availability for this year is very much in doubt.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

DeAndre Baker’s Attorney Says He’s “Innocent Of All Charges”

DeAndre Baker’s attorney Bradford Cohen maintains that his client is “innocent of all charges” (via Cohen’s Instagram). Baker and Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar are both wanted for felony charges stemming from an armed robbery, though Dunbar’s lawyer has also denied the allegations.

[RELATED: Baker, Dunbar Wanted For Armed Robbery]

I want to thank [the Miramar, Florida police department] for being professional in regards to surrendering and issues with the case,” Cohen wrote. “We understand that the officers can only base warrants on what was told to them at the time. We have had affidavits from several witnesses that also dispute the allegations and exculpate our client. Our investigator has had them for some time. We would have rather presented them to the court at the proper time, rather than in the media, but in this day and age, people rush to judgment. Where some seek publicity, we seek justice. I look forward to moving this case forward to proper conclusion, as we believe our client is innocent of any charges.”

At a party on Wednesday, police allege that Baker held people at gunpoint while Dunbar stole cash and watches from them. Cops say there was also a third masked man involved and some witnesses claim that Dunbar was also armed. Both cornerbacks are facing four felony counts of armed robbery with a firearm while Baker is looking at four additional counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. Although neither player is in custody as of Saturday morning, it does sound like they will cooperate with authorities.

Baker, 22, was hoping to redeem himself this year after a disappointing rookie campaign. Dunbar, 27, was traded from the Redskins to the Seahawks earlier this year – he was looking for a fresh start, as well as a new contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Quinton Dunbar, DeAndre Baker

An attorney representing Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar said five witnesses signed sworn affidavits indicating his client is innocent, according to David Ovalle of the Miami Herald.

Dunbar is wanted on four counts of armed robbery, while Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker faces eight charges for their alleged involvement in a robbery that took place this week.

Neither of the South Florida natives has surrendered to Miramar, Fla., Police, as of Friday afternoon. Dunbar’s attorney did not indicate when his client would surrender, according to the Herald. Baker’s attorney has been in contact with detectives regarding the arrest warrant, according to the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz.

At a get-together in Florida on Wednesday, police say Baker held partiers at gunpoint while Dunbar looted them. Baker also directed a third man to shoot someone who entered the party during the robbery. That mystery third wheel did not shoot anyone, but the group made off with $7K in cash, plus a $25K Hublot watch, an $18K Rolex, and an Audemars Piguet.

TMZ reported Baker and Dunbar lost money in high-stakes games, including card games, days before the May 13 incident. Police indicated witnesses believe the May 13 incident was a planned robbery. Florida law indicates Baker could face a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison if found guilty for any of the four armed robbery charges, and Schwartz writes it will be shocking if Baker ever plays for the Giants — or another NFL team — again. The Giants selected Baker in the first round of the 2019 draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants’ DeAndre Baker, Seahawks’ Quinton Dunbar Wanted For Armed Robbery

Arrest warrants have been issued for Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker and Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar, according to TMZ. At a get-together in Florida on Wednesday, police say Baker held partiers at gunpoint while Dunbar looted them. Both men are now wanted by authorities for armed robbery. The Miramar, Florida police department has also confirmed the warrants via press release.

According to police sources who spoke with TMZ, Baker also directed a third man to shoot someone who entered the party in the midst of the robbery. That mystery third wheel did not shoot anyone, but the group did make off with $7K in cash, plus a $25K Hublot watch, an $18K Rolex, and an Audemars Piguet.

Some witnesses claim that Dunbar was also armed; others say he was not. As it stands, both men are wanted for four counts of armed robbery with a firearm. Baker, meanwhile, also faces an additional four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm.

Baker, 22, was a late first-round pick of the Giants just last year. He struggled as a rookie, but he allowed just one touchdown against him at Georgia and the Giants were planning to have him compete for a first-string spot in 2020. Baker finished out his first Giants season with 61 total tackles and eight passes defensed in 16 games, including 15 starts. Per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv (via Twitter), the Giants are unlikely to cut Baker right away, but clearly this will put the club back in the market for a free agent corner.

Dunbar, 27, was traded from the Redskins to the Seahawks in March. Unhappy with his contract, Dunbar wanted out of D.C. and got his wish. For the cost of a fifth-round pick, the Seahawks took on the starting-caliber corner and the final year of his three-year, $10.5MM deal. If the warrants have merit, Dunbar won’t be getting a new contract anytime soon. A Dunbar absence would also sting for the Seahawks, who were looking forward to seeing him build on a strong year. In 2019, Dunbar played the most snaps of his NFL career and came away with four interceptions. For his work, Pro Football Focus graded Dunbar as the league’s second-best cornerback, behind only former Legion of Boom leader Richard Sherman.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Williams, Cowboys, Giants

Trent Williams continues to hold out from Redskins camp, but the team is standing firm on the trade front. Despite acquiring Donald Penn, the Redskins have told teams they have no plans to trade Williams, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Teams continue to inquire about the 10th-year left tackle’s availability, but thus far, Washington has resisted. Williams, 31, is upset with the organization because of his contract and its handling of a health scare of his. Some around the league believe the Patriots will make a play for the seven-time Pro Bowler, but nothing is moving on this front yet. This may be an attempt for Washington to drive up the price, but for now, Williams remains a Redskins employee.

As for Washington’s left tackle situation, Penn and 2018 third-rounder Geron Christian are battling for the spot, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets. Ereck Flowers is back at guard but may be behind fourth-round rookie Wes Martin.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Deandre Baker will miss time for the Giants because of a knee sprain, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes (video link). However, the first-round pick’s ACL did not sustain damage, and the Giants appear to expect him back soon. Baker will likely be asked to start in his first season, with Big Blue’s cornerback corps rather thin.
  • The Cowboys gave fourth-round pick Tony Pollard just four carries in their preseason opener, but Jerry Jones may be using that to send a message to holdout Ezekiel Elliott. “He looks confident out there. We know he’s inordinately understanding what it is he does and what he can do,” Jones said, via ESPN.com’s Todd Archer. “We’ve seen him do it. We know he’s capable, if he really needs to, carry the whole load.” Pollard gained 16 yards against the 49ers. While Dak Prescott‘s negotiations have been talking points in the past two days, not much has emerged on the Elliott front. Jones said (via Jon Machota of The Athletic, on Twitter) nothing has changed regarding Dallas’ extension candidates.
  • Third-year Cowboys defensive end Taco Charlton addressed his current situation, which may not involve a full-time starting role. The 2017 first-round pick has just four career sacks and said he was not asked to rush quarterbacks as much as he did as a rookie. He mentioned discussing his NFL future with his agent recently (via Machota, subscription required). “We know my value and everything like that, so everything is good,” Charlton said. “I’m here right now working hard with this team. I will show up every day to work hard, healthy, hurt, whatever may be. Shoulder hurt, I still show up every day to work hard.” The Cowboys have DeMarcus Lawrence recovering from surgery, Robert Quinn out two games with a suspension and Randy Gregory once again banned. The defending NFC East champs will need Charlton, especially early.
  • On another NFC East defensive line, the Eagles saw their 2017 first-round pick return to 11-on-11 drills. Derek Barnett participated in team work for the first time in camp, Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia notes. Barnett spent the offseason recovering from a shoulder injury that sent him to IR in October. The Eagles traded Michael Bennett and lost Chris Long to retirement, pointing to a big role for Barnett.
  • The Giants lost another wide receiver for the season. Recent addition Amba Etta-Tawo tore one of his Achilles’ tendons, per NJ.com’s Matt Lombardo. In his second camp with the Giants, the Syracuse alum has yet to play in a regular-season game. Big Blue is down Sterling Shepard and Corey Coleman and will be without Golden Tate for the season’s first four games.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, McCoy, Giants

With Brandon Brooks going down with a torn Achilles in the second round of the playoffs, the Eagles face an issue regarding how their starting offensive line will look come Week 1. But five months later, Brooks revealed a bit about where his recovery process stands. The veteran guard shared a brief workout video (Twitter link) that shows him doing agility drills again. The fourth-year Eagle will almost certainly begin training camp on the active/PUP list, and it can’t be considered a lock he will be ready for the start of the season. But this represents an encouraging sign from the mammoth offensive lineman.

In the event Brooks is not ready to go in September, a contingency plan might involve a position switch. Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who replaced Jason Peters at left tackle as a rookie in 2017, has worked at guard at times this offseason. The Eagles appear to be preparing Vaitai to be their Brooks stopgap, in the event he needs more time, Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia writes. The Eagles drafted Andre Dillard in Round 1 and have rugby convert Jordan Mailata at tackle as well, so Vaitai working at guard may be a way to stay on the roster. This is interesting given that Stefen Wisniewski (24 Eagles left guard starts from 2016-18) re-signed in May. It would stand to reason the experienced interior lineman would be the Brooks fill-in, but Doug Pederson mentioned a possible Vaitai-Lane Johnson right side recently.

Shifting to more NFC East position battles, here is the latest out of the division:

  • The Eagles’ Zach Brown addition figures to clear up uncertainty about their three-down linebacker sets, with Brown joining Nigel Bradham. And despite the return of Paul Worrilow and arrival of L.J. Fort, Zangaro notes Kamu Grugier-Hill remains the third linebacker in base sets and adds it would not be a surprise to see him gut into Brown’s work in nickel sets. Grugier-Hill played 32% of the Eagles’ 2018 defensive snaps. Brown, however, posted a top-10 Pro Football Focus coverage grade last season. Grugier-Hill did not grade nearly as well.
  • Colt McCoy‘s final surgery total from the fractured fibula he suffered late last season: three. The veteran Redskins quarterback is expected to be cleared for training camp, but J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington notes McCoy indeed underwent three procedures since December — the most recent coming in April. McCoy’s knowledge of Jay Gruden‘s offense will help him in Washington’s QB battle and possibly as a mentor type once Dwayne Haskins inevitably takes over this season.
  • Once Janoris Jenkins returned to work this offseason, Deandre Baker remained a Giants first-stringer over Sam Beal this offseason. And UDFA Grant Haley resides as the favorite to replace B.W. Webb as the team’s slot corner, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com writes. While including Beal as a possible challenger for the slot job, along with fourth-round rookie Julian Love, Dunleavy notes the 2018 supplemental draft pick does not have slot experience. This would stand to make the Western Michigan product Big Blue’s CB4 to start the season.
  • Alec Ogletree has one Giants inside linebacker job locked up, and as of now, fourth-year man B.J. Goodson is the team’s base-set starter. Tae Davis remains the nickel replacement for Goodson, per Dunleavy, but rookie fifth-round pick Ryan Connelly is in the mix for this role. The fifth-rounder out of Wisconsin was viewed as one of this draft’s top coverage linebackers.