A source states that the Kansas City Chiefs are one of four teams who are in on Deandre Baker.
The situation around free agent cornerback Deandre Baker is still unfolding, and while things suddenly look much better for the former 30th overall pick of the New York Giants, interested teams will have to do a little homework on him. Here’s what we know.
Jeff Schultz of The Athletic tweeted on Monday morning that “a couple of NFL teams” had reached out to University of Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart to talk about Baker, who played collegiately at Georgia.
Later in the afternoon, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post tweeted that the Giants were not interested in a reunion, but that four teams are in on Baker: The Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Baker was charged in August with armed robbery after he turned himself in when he and fellow NFL cornerback Quinton Dunbar allegedly robbed attendees at a house party in Miramar, Florida. Baker was subsequently released by the Giants, but in a surprising twist of events, all charges against Baker were dropped on Monday after William Dean, the attorney for Baker’s accusers, was charged with extortion.
The three men who were initially involved in the charges against Baker have reportedly recanted their allegations that the cornerback was involved, as all three are now claiming in sworn statements that Baker “did not directly or indirectly participate in any robbery or assist in a robbery at the scene or elsewhere” and they did not see him “rob or assault anyone with a firearm.”
After the NFL completes its investigation, Baker is expected to make his return to the NFL.
Nineteen months ago, the Chiefs were likely doing their homework on Baker before the eventual trade of their first round pick, which was the 29th pick of the 2019 draft (the pick was traded to Seattle in the deal that brought defensive end Frank Clark to Kansas City). While Kansas City has not chosen to spend premium draft capital on cornerbacks, this could potentially be a way for general manager Brett Veach to get a quality prospect (keep in mind, Baker is still just 23 years old) at a minimal investment.
The 5’11” 193-lb. cornerback doesn’t have the greatest speed for the position, but he has good instincts and physicality. He started 15 games in his rookie season, and chipped in 8 passes defended. The Chiefs currently employ Bashaud Breeland, Charvarius Ward, Rashad Fenton, L’Jarius Sneed, Antonio Hamilton, and “BoPete” Thakarius Keyes at cornerback. Breeland, Ward, and Hamilton are free agents after this season, leaving only Fenton and two 2020 rookies currently under contract for the 2021 season.
This is clearly a high-ceiling move for any NFL team. We know enough about Veach to know that if he is interested in Baker, he will pursue him aggressively.