Deandre Baker

Chiefs Re-Sign Deandre Baker

The Chiefs have re-signed Deandre Baker for the 2021 season, per a club announcement. The cornerback joined the Chiefs on a practice squad deal in November, shortly after the Broward County State Attorney’s Office dropped armed robbery charges against him

Baker struggled as a first-round rookie with the Giants, allowing a 116.2 passer rating. Then, heading into his second year, Baker was arrested on multiple felony charges. Cops alleged that Baker orchestrated a robbery at gunpoint with Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar as his accomplice. Then, after a number of twists and turns — including payoff allegations against one-time Dunbar attorney Michael Grieco — the charges were dropped.

After a month on the taxi squad, Baker got called up to the varsity squad for a couple of games. Now, he’ll work to make the 53-man cut in KC.

In addition to Baker, the Chiefs announced the following futures deals:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 1/13/21

Here are the latest practice squad moves from around the league:

Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/26/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

  • Promoted: C Javon Patterson

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Chiefs Promote CB DeAndre Baker

Several weeks after signing DeAndre Baker, the Chiefs are prepared to use the former first-round pick in a game. The defending Super Bowl champions promoted the second-year cornerback to their active roster Saturday.

The Chiefs added the former Giants draftee to their practice squad a month ago, doing so shortly after the Broward County State Attorney’s Office (Fla.) dropped armed robbery charges against him. Baker’s arrest on several felony charges led to the Giants cutting him.

Baker struggled as a rookie, allowing a 116.2 passer rating on passes thrown his way and allowing 61% of those throws to be completed. Pro Football Focus graded him as one of its worst defenders in 2019. The Chiefs are taking a chance on the former Georgia prospect, who was facing prison time until recently.

Baker was alleged to have committed armed robbery 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. The story only became stranger from there, including payoff allegations against attorney Michael Grieco, who was once representing Dunbar. But both cornerbacks have moved forward with their respective careers.

Kansas City also promoted Stefen Wisniewski and linebacker Emmanuel Smith and activated wideout Byron Pringle from IR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs To Sign DeAndre Baker To Practice Squad

DeAndre Baker is back in the NFL. The Chiefs are set to sign the former first-round cornerback to their practice squad, as Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets

[RELATED: Robbery Charges Against DeAndre Baker Dropped]

Earlier this week, the Broward County State Attorney’s Office dropped the armed robbery charges against Baker. He was away from football for much of 2020 and gearing up for a court battle, but he’s now in the clear, legally speaking. The NFL could still discipline Baker after an investigation from the league office. For now, he’s free to join the Chiefs’ reserve squad.

Garafolo hears that it won’t be long before Baker makes his way to the active roster, provided that everything checks out. That’s no surprise, considering Baker’s first-round pedigree. A standout at Georgia, Baker was widely regarded as the top cornerback in the class. The 5-foot-11 athlete turned in a standout 2018 season with the Bulldogs, compiling 40 tackles, two sacks, nine passes defended, and two picks.

Baker was expected to be a key part of the Giants’ secondary right off the bat. Instead, he clashed with coaches and wound up benched midway through his first pro season. Still, the talent is there, and there’s little risk for the Chiefs as they take a flyer on him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs, 49ers Interested In DeAndre Baker

The armed robbery charges against former Giants cornerback Deandre Baker have been dropped and he’s already drawing interest from a handful of NFL teams. The Chiefs, Bengals, 49ers, and Jaguars are all in on Baker, according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post (on Twitter). The Cowboys, he adds, “could also be in play.” 

[RELATED: Robbery Charges Against DeAndre Baker Dropped]

The Giants, who immediately distanced themselves from Baker following the allegations from Florida, are not interested in a reunion, Schwartz says. Giants head coach Joe Judge effectively confirmed that when speaking with reporters on Monday.

[We] wish him the best luck in the future,” Judge said. “We’ve made the decision we think is best for the program. That is all I have to say about that.”

The Giants traded up from the second round in 2019 to draft Baker towards the back-end of the first round. A standout at Georgia, Baker was widely regarded as the top cornerback in the class. The 5-foot-11 athlete turned in a standout 2018 season with the Bulldogs, compiling 40 tackles, two sacks, nine passes defended, and two picks. However, he struggled to grasp the playbook as a rookie and wound up benched late in the season. All in all, he had 55 stops, zero interceptions, and lots of headache-inducing game tape.

On the other hand, Baker is still young and represents a low-risk, high-reward signing for teams like the Chiefs and 49ers. He’s free to sign with any team, though NFL discipline could still be in his future.

Robbery Charges Against DeAndre Baker Dropped

The four armed robbery charges against DeAndre Baker have been dropped, per an announcement from Florida prosecutors. Meanwhile, the attorney for three of Baker’s accusers has been arrested on extortion charges (via Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post). 

Laywer William Dean represented three of Baker’s accusers — all of whom recanted their statements last week. There was a fourth accuser who wasn’t represented by Dean, and he did not appear for a hearing in October. Reportedly, Dean tried to pry as much as $1.5M from Baker in exchange for his clients changing their statements.

A quick refresher: Baker was 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. The story has only gotten stranger from there, including payoff allegations against attorney Michael Grieco, who was once representing Dunbar. The charges against Dunbar have since been dropped.

The Giants kept their distance from Baker throughout the process before formally waiving him in September. He is now a full-fledged free agent and free to sign with any club, though he could still be subject to fines or suspensions from the league office.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.