Baker Quandry Won’t Taint Giants’ D-Backfield by Jeff Moeller/The New York Extra/The NYExtra.com
The DeAndre Baker mess is the first test for new coach Joe Judge and GM Dave Gettleman.
Yes, it definitely is a headache, but the Giants may have the solution in their own pocket.
As the details of Baker’s alleged armed robbery case continue to unravel and become more confusing as to his future, Judge and Gettleman will have to make a major decision in their defensive backfield.
Baker’s decision is among a few decisions Judge, Gettleman, and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham will need to make .
Unless Baker’s charges are dropped, he wouldn’t appear to be in the picture for the opening of Training camp in late July or likely on the field for the team’s Monday Night opener against Pittsburgh Sept. 14. It is the typical elongated road of our legal system. Baker still has to deal with the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.
Judge, who was brought in due to his buttoned-up, no-nonsense Bill Belichick style, could decide to cut Baker, and the team would take a hit of $7.6 million in dead cap space. He reportedly wasn’t happy with Baker for not attending the team’s virtual workouts, and doesn’t have any ties to him. Gettleman does.
The GM traded three drafts away to move up to the 30th pick to get Baker last season. He didn’t score highly in his overall performance among his peers, yet Gettleman had high aspirations pairing him with top free-agent acquisition James Bradberry. Gettleman would hate to pull the plug on one of his top picks, but he may have look in another direction.Baker still would have been a risk this season, but the Giants have a corral of corners who are developing.
Sam Beal continues to be the question mark. Expectations were high for Beal when he was taken in the 2018 supplemental draft, but he hasn’t been able to stay on the field long enough due to a series of injuries. Corey Ballentine had flashes as a rookie last season and Grant Haley has steadily progressed over the past two years, as both of them played sparingly Draft choices Darnay Holmes and Chris Williamson could make an impact down the road.
At strong safety, Jabrill Peppers looked good last season until it was cut short due to back injury, and Julian Love is the projected starter at free safety. But Love is expected to be challenged by rookie Xaiver McKinney, who already is getting rave reviews.
As training camp draws near, Baker’s issue could still be in the forefront. However, Judge and Gettleman have the insurance for the inevitable outcome.