With DeAndre Baker facing criminal charges, more pressure will be put on New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman in 2020.
The New York Giants could not have foreseen the alleged accusations surrounding cornerback DeAndre Baker. Baker has been charged by the Miramar police with four counts of armed robbery with a firearm, and four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. The alleged incident occurred last Wednesday at a private cookout.
Baker turned himself in on Saturday and has been released on $200,000 bond. There are rumors that some of the witnesses at the alleged altercation have recanted their statements, but for now, everyone will have to wait and see how the legal process plays out.
With a cloud over Baker’s career, more pressure will be put on the man that drafted him—Dave Gettleman.
Gettleman was already put on notice by CEO and co-owner John Mara shortly after last season. Mara said that Gettleman’s “batting average has got to increase”
Despite these comments, Mara is obviously fond of Gettleman. Prior to his hiring as general manager in December of 2017, he served as the Giants’ director of pro personnel in which he helped the team win two Super Bowls.
It was the relationship Mara and Gettleman built during that time which would eventually lead to Gettleman being named GM.
Despite the admiration Mara may have for Gettleman, he doesn’t like the direction the team has gone since Gettleman has taken over. The team has gone 9-23 and both seasons have essentially been over by Halloween. Not good.
John Mara and his late father, Wellington Mara, have always put an emphasis on playing meaningful games into December. It’s safe to say Gettleman hasn’t delivered on that directive.
In addition, Gettleman has made some questionable trades including sending off the most talented receiver in the team’s history in Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns, and trading one of the franchise’s best pass rushers Jason Pierre-Paul to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Now, when you look at what the Giants had to give up to acquire Baker, it could be the move that seals Gettleman’s fate with Mara.
In the 2019 NFL Draft, Gettleman traded away three draft picks (37, 132, and 142 overall) to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for the 30th overall pick which was used to take Baker.
Baker was the only corner taken in the first round and while some felt that he was the best corner in the draft, there were concerns about his character and work ethic.
Some felt that it was unnecessary for Gettleman to trade for Baker since he may have been available at pick 37, and if someone had taken Baker prior to that, the Giants could have snagged another top corner.
After the trade up in the draft, Baker struggled mightily as a rookie and failed to record an interception. Now that he’s facing felony charges, whether it’s fair or unfair, some will lay blame at the feet of Gettleman for the predicament the Giants find themselves in.
Despite being 22-years-old and accountable for his own actions, many will lay blame on Gettleman for making such a huge investment in Baker, and the lack of return the Giants have seen with that investment.
As any owner would, Mara and fellow co-owner Steve Tisch are conscious about the image their franchise portrays. They’re obviously not pleased with the light that’s shining on their team in wake of Baker’s alleged incident.
Despite Baker’s struggles as a rookie, the Giants were confident that he could flourish in his second season under new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. He was going to be the starting corner opposite of newly acquired James Bradberry and expected to play more press-man coverage, which seemed to best suit his talent.
The tandem of Bradberry and Baker making strides in his second season would help the pass defense that finished 25th last season, giving up 264.1 yards per game.
Now facing criminal charges and with the Giants reportedly telling Baker not to attend the team’s virtual meetings, one way or another, the Giants could be without him for the foreseeable future.
Gettleman needs to hope that either evidence will show that Baker did not participate in the alleged incident and can play this season or that someone else on the roster is able to step up and be a solid starting corner. If either scenario occurs, it may temporarily help his stance with ownership.
However, if the Giants have another double-digit loss season, it’s hard to envision a scenario where Mara would bring Gettleman back next season.
Considering the fact that Gettleman is 69, if the Giants are unable to overcome Baker’s situation, 2020 could mark the end of Gettleman’s career as an executive.