You thought the DeAndre Baker’s wild offseason was finally over? Think again.
The New York Giants‘ starting cornerback was placed the NFL’s Commissioner’s Exempt list on Monday. Less than 24 hours after, we’ve learned that the former 1st-rounder’s time on said list may prove to be extremely short-lived.
According to Baker’s attorney, Patrick G. Patel, the NFLPA has officially appealed the NFL’s decision to place the 2nd-year defender on the commissioner’s exempt list. The appeal is based on the merits that Baker is being punished despite not having been formally charged with any crimes.
Baker was arrested back in May on four counts of armed robbery with a firearm and four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm for his alleged involvement in a robbery in Florida.
Baker Looking ‘to Resume His Career’
“We’re hoping to get a hearing as soon as possible,” Patel told SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, “with the hope that he gets cleared to resume his career.”
As Vacchiano notes, the “new NFL collective bargaining agreement allows Baker to seek a hearing before ‘an Article 46 joint disciplinary review officer.'” No timetable has been set for Baker’s hearing at the moment, however, the CBA does specifically state that the hearing must happen “on an expedited basis.”
Despite the NFLPA’s filing, the chances of Baker winning his appeal are fairly slim. As noted by SI.com’s Conor Orr last offseason, the NFL has a long history of suspending players despite not being arrested or charged with a crime. Names such as Ezekiel Elliott, Ben Roethlisberger, Jameis Winston, Kareem Hunt and Jimmy Smith are just some of the notable players that fall into this category.
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Giants Scheduled Baker for COVID Test on Tuesday
Hours before the ruling came down from the NFL, it appeared Baker, who had already made his way to East Rutherford, had every intention of attending the Giants’ first day of training camp on July 28.
Obviously, the cornerback’s placement on the exempt list less than 24 hours before the kick-off of camp altered that.
We reported yesterday that NFL rules do actually permit players on the commissioner’s exempt list to report to team facilities and participate in “some non-football activities.” That is, as long as the team grants permission to said player. However, as Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News reported, the Giants planned on doing no such thing.
Combine Big Blue’s current stance on Baker, as well as the fact that they told him to stay away from their virtual offseason program earlier this summer, and it appears to paint a picture of a team that is ready to wash their hands with their former 1st-round pick.
Yet, interestingly enough, sources close to Vacchiano informed him that Baker wasn’t the only one expecting him to be at the start of training camp, as the team had scheduled a COVID test for him on Tuesday prior to his placement on the exempt list.
However, it appears that following said ruling, the Giants may have shifted gears, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has since pointed out, keeping Baker outside of the building gives New York a greater chance of recouping money.
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