The Kansas City Chiefs‘ secondary could receive a major boost in Week 11 with CB L’Jarius Sneed nearing his return from a broken collarbone. The rookie standout, who intercepted two passes in his first two games prior to the injury, was helping bridge the gap while counterpart Charvarius Ward worked his way back to full health.
Despite the well-rested Chiefs coming off of their bye week and not having had listed a cornerback on the injury report since Week 7, the team is still exploring its options to improve the position heading into the second half of the season.
According to longtime beat writer Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, the defending Super Bowl champions are among several teams to inquire about signing free agent CB and former New York Giants first-rounder DeAndre Baker.
About 24 hours after linking Baker to the Chiefs, Schwartz is reporting that the talented cornerback is scheduled to travel to Kansas City on Wednesday — his first formal visit after criminal charges against him were dismissed on Monday.
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DeAndre Baker Cleared of Charges From May Incident
Baker, who was released by the Giants on September 8, was back in the news on Monday after The Broward State Attorney’s Office (FL) dropped all four counts of robbery with a firearm against the 23-year-old stemming from a May incident, detailed by Bleacher Report:
Witnesses had initially alleged Baker and fellow NFL player Quinton Dunbar stole thousands of dollars in cash and expensive watches from other people at gunpoint at a party in Florida last May.
Instead, William Dean, the attorney representing three of Baker’s four alleged victims, was arrested on extortion charges for attempting to coerce Baker to pay more than $266,000 to each of his clients, per ESPN.
Giants Reunion ‘Extremely Unlikely’ For Baker
In 2019, the Giants traded up to draft the Georgia star with the No. 30 overall pick, who went on to start 15-of-16 games and record 61 total tackles and 8 pass breakups as a rookie. Now, Baker can turn his attention away from proving his innocence to proving his value in the locker room and getting back on the field.
“I can be a great guy in any locker room they put me in,” Baker told the New York Post on Monday. “I never had a record in my life. I was never in any trouble in my life and still to this day I haven’t been in any trouble, up until this event. I don’t think I’m a risk to any team. I feel like I’m a benefit to any team right now.”
As Schwartz and others have reported, at least one team — Baker’s former team — can be ruled out of the sweepstakes for the talented second-year corner.
While Kansas City offers stronger Super Bowl appeal than most other suitors, the Chiefs only have about $5.6 million of salary cap space to work with. However, the Chiefs have already shown moderate interest in Baker having interviewed him at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.
Should newly-extended GM Brett Veach and company elect to add Baker to the roster, he would compete alongside Sneed, Rashad Fenton and incumbent starters Ward and Bashaud Breeland. For now, Baker remains on the commissioner’s exempt list while he weighs his options and potential further discipline from the NFL.