By Jeff Moeller, The New York Extra — thenyextra.com
If not for the CO-VID 19 pandemic that has lowered the football spotlight, cases involving kicker Aldrick Rosas and cornerback DeAndre Baker likely would have been an afterthought by now.
Both are sloppy and quirky cases that need to soon be addressed. The Giants have pandemic practice and preseason game issues that are in the balance with training camp less than two weeks away.
The Giants have had a zero tolerance policy with players who exhibited unlawful behavior or domestic abuse or violence.
Just ask Pro Bowl kicker Josh Brown, who was released for domestic violence six months after he signed a two-year, 4-million deal in April of 2016.
Flip forward to June 2020.
Rosas – a year away from a Pro Bowl season — exercised his $3.2 million restricted free agent tender earlier in the spring. His 12-for-17 field goal percentage (70.6) was last in the NFC East and near the bottom of the league. The 25-year-old was coming off an adequate 2019 season, and many believed his Giants’ future hit a dead end.
That still could happen.
Rosas, however, was arrested in California in late June on charges of misdemeanor hit-and-run and driving on a suspended license. He allegedly was alcohol impaired, drove in excess of 100 miles per hour, and blood was found on his hands and feet. Not exactly the way to ingratiate yourself to a new head coach.
He still could find himself suspended by the league under the personal conduct policy. Over the past few weeks, the Giants have remained mum on the matter as they wait for the league fallout, and “sift through the details” as they say.
New head coach and apparent disciplinarian Joe Judge easily could opt for his own man, and quickly turn to ex-Patriots Stephen Gostkowski and Nick Folk, both of whom are still on the market (The Jets could take a hint here). In addition, there are other veterans who could fill the void.
As far as Baker, this is the more interesting case.
His alleged armed robbery and aggravated assault with a firearm at a Florida cookout in May has been well publicized over the past few months.
At the time of its occurrence, the Giants appeared to have the “out” on Baker they intuitively sought after last year’s first-round pick basically was a bust last season.
Alas, though, justice needed to take his course especially after Baker’s not guilty plea.
However, the situation became murkier when the four alleged victims received $55,000 from Baker and Seattle cornerback Quinton Dunbar to recant their previous testimony, according to a report in the New York Daily News. Both Baker’s and Dunbar’s lawyers have denied the accusation. Baker’s lawyer also previously stated that he was confident charges against his client would be dropped in mid-June.
The Giants had hoped Baker’s second year could be eased with the signing of veteran corner James Bradberry. If they do release him, they have Sam Beal, Julian Love, and Corey Ballantine as options on their roster, and veteran Logan Ryan is available in free agency.
If Baker is placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, the Giants still will have a $2.3 million cap hit. They also will have to deal with the problem of voiding his contract and regaining his signing bonus.
Two key decisions to be made as the clock ticks louder and louder toward training camp. According to recent reports, Baker reportedly could be released by the weekend.
Nevertheless, these are the Giants and they should clear the messy plates.