Something smelled very fishy with that entire DeAndre Baker robbery situation when it first went down. My natural street sense told me that something didn’t add up. Robbery is savagely desperate in nature and a future NFL star with a new multi-million contract in tow just didn’t fit the profile of an armed robber to me.
But he is Black and nothing is easy for a Black man accused of a crime as we all know.
Baker, 23, was released by the Giants in September after he was accused of robbing a Miami-area party in May along with Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar, another unlikely perpetrator of such a crime. While Dunbar escaped chargers, Baker was initially charged with four counts of armed robbery.
The charges were eventually dropped, but not before significant damage was done to Baker’s reputation. On Monday, William Dean, 50, an attorney representing three men who had said they were victims, was arrested and is accused of trying to extort around $800,000 from Baker.
Dean allegedly wanted Baker to pay more than $266,000 to each alleged victim in exchange for them to stop cooperating with prosecutors and change their sworn statements, the sheriff’s office said.
As soon as I got wind of this situation I asked myself, “Now, why in the heck would a young, Black man with a lucrative NFL career in front of him rob someone?”
In fact, the former Bulldogs defensive back had just signed his first NFL contract, a deal estimated to be worth $10,495,976 over four years with a signing bonus of $5,653,437.
The situation sounded absurd to me, but the way Black men are demonized in this country, particularly by law enforcement, Baker was quickly convicted in the court of public opinion.
And sadly, too many people believed it could be true and jumped ship on the promising second-year player.
Including the cowardly Giants, who flat rout released Baker — who maintained his innocence the entire time — before the details even played out. The Giants front office panicked and with no people of color to bring some perspective to the mix lost a future All-Pro and foundation piece of their defense.
DeAndre Baker is taken in the first round by the NYG. He is then released due to allegations on armed robbery. Now it’s 3 months since all that and the charges were dropped and the Chiefs signed him. Fire Gettleman… I’m drawing a fine line. #FireGettleman #NYGiants
— Barz (@iwritebarz) November 18, 2020
In light of everything that was going on in this country with systemic racism and protests for social justice, as well as the NFL’s supposed revelation concerning Colin Kapernikcs original protests, I found it odd that the Giants would just accept this bizarre story as truth or even consider it valid enough to part ways with Baker to avoid further bad press down the road.
Those bogus charges against Baker were dropped Monday after the lawyer for three of the alleged victims, William Dean, was arrested on extortion charges relating to the robbery.
As a rookie last season, Baker recorded 61 tackles and eight passes defended in all 16 games. His skills have been missed this season as the Giants have stumbled to a 3-7 record.
As often happens, Baker’s curse has become a blessing, as it’s reported that the cornerback will sign with the World Champion Kansas City Chiefs and should make immediate contributions to a Super Bowl contender. The Chiefs have played musical chairs at cornerback this season while placing in the Top 10 in defensive efficiency categories, so this pick up is huge.
The Chiefs have a short- and long-term plan laid out for Baker, a talented ballhawk who was taken 30th overall in 2019 after winning the Jim Thorpe Award his senior season at Georgia.
The Giants, who can use every bit of elite talent it can get, have got to be kicking themselves. To lose a defensive gem like Baker without any compensation over a bs extortion plot is just reflective of the poor decision making and cultural deficiencies that the Giants front office continues to display.