#Giants not actively looking to replace DeAndre Baker

Giants not actively looking to replace DeAndre Baker

June 6, 2020 | 1:13am

Before DeAndre Baker could enter a not guilty plea, Giants fans everywhere were asking the same question: Which free-agent cornerback could be signed to take Baker’s place in the starting lineup?

The list of possibilities turned up some promising replacements, all still available: Former Bengals starters Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard, New Jersey native Logan Ryan coming off a career-best year as a Pro Bowl snub, NFC East-tested Brandon Carr and 13-year NFL veteran Tramon Williams.

Three weeks after Baker’s arrest, the answer is crystalizing.

The Giants are not actively shopping or even signaling contingent interest at the top of the cornerback market, multiple league sources told The Post.

As the Broward County (Fla.) prosecutor’s office decides whether to pursue a case against Baker on four counts of armed robbery and four counts of aggravated assault, the Giants are not overreacting to plug a roster hole that might not exist in late July. The quiet is an unspoken commitment to the development of a young secondary.

DeAndre Baker
DeAndre BakerGetty Images

Baker’s attorney, Patrick Patel, strongly believes the charges against the 2019 first-round draft pick soon will be dropped and trusts the evidence gathered, including recanted witness statements, will show his client does not warrant suspension under an NFL personal conduct policy that permits discipline regardless of legal findings.

Are the Giants just waiting out the free-agent market to drive down asking prices? Unlikely, according to sources.

Two recently signed ex-Giants — Prince Amukamara (one-year, $1.87 million from the Raiders) and Eli Apple (one year, $3 million from the Panthers) — showed the type of bargain that can be had as unsigned players get antsy at this time of year. Prices won’t drop much further, so striking now makes sense if it is in the plans.

The exception is Ryan, who still is looking to match the $10 million per year average annual salary on his last contract with the Titans. Ryan, Kirkpatrick, Williams and Carr all previously played on teams coached by the Giants’ Joe Judge, defensive coordinator Patrick Graham or defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson.

The Giants have $16.6 million in cap space, according to the NFL Players Association, but nearly $11 million is on ice for nine unsigned draft picks and tendered free agent Markus Golden.

It is possible the Giants could add a second-tier free agent for depth between now and the start of training camp — as general manager Dave Gettleman did in July 2018 by signing Connor Barwin to help an undermanned pass rush — but available options such as B.W. Webb, Ross Cockrell and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie already came and went in the organization.

Inactivity is a risky strategy given cornerbacks Sam Beal, Corey Ballentine and Grant Haley missed a combined 14 games due to injury last season and struggled when on the field. The Giants ranked No. 28 in passing defense and a lot will be asked of prized March acquisition James Bradberry if no other veteran is added.

Baker was told to stay away from the team’s virtual offseason program until the legal process is sorted out.

Friday’s schedule was a team meeting solely focused on the racial justice protests sparked by the death of George Floyd. Judge previously addressed the events around the nation with attentive players but the latest meeting, first reported by NJ Advance Media and confirmed by The Post, was to continue discussing thoughtful response and action.


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