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DeAndre Baker

DeAndre Baker
DeAndre Baker

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

DeAndre Baker's attorney believes the Giants cornerback is the victim of a "shakedown" and is being accused of a crime he did not commit. But he also believes Baker has been "scared straight" by this brush with the law, and will come out of this a better man than he was before.

"He's got an opportunity to become the next Ray Lewis and not the next Ray Rice," attorney Patrick G. Patel said in an exclusive interview with SNY late Sunday night. "There's two guys who went in two different directions. I told DeAndre that. And he seems very focused. He's scared straight. I can say that."

The 22-year-old Baker has a long way to go, of course, before anyone sees whether he can reclaim his NFL career as Lewis once did after being accused of murder, or if his career will end the way Rice's did after he was arrested for domestic assault. First, Baker has to deal with the four counts of armed robbery and four counts of aggravated assault that he was charged with in Broward County, Fla., after an incident on Wednesday night.

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Ralph Vacchiano
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May 3, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants corner back Deandre Baker (35) answers questions from media during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 3, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants corner back Deandre Baker (35) answers questions from media during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Giants CB DeAndre Baker was told to stay away from the meetings so he can "focus on his legal issues" after being released from jail on bond, a source familiar with the team's thinking told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

Baker, who is facing four charges of armed robbery and four charges of aggravated assault, was released on bond at $200,000 ($25,000 on each count), after a ruling by a Florida judge on Sunday morning.

As conditions of his release, Baker will be required to surrender his carry permit and firearm. Additionally, he will not be allowed to have any contact with the alleged victims in the case. The state asked for no bond.

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DeAndre Baker
DeAndre Baker

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

DeAndre Baker is in a lot of trouble and is facing an uncertain future, to say the least. His NFL career is obviously hanging by a thread. His freedom is in serious jeopardy, too.

The announcement by the Miramar (Fla.) Police Department on Thursday that they had issued an arrest warrant for the Giants cornerback was just the beginning of what could be a long and painful process for the 22-year-old former first-round pick, who turned himself in to police on Saturday morning.

Here, with the help of some legal and NFL sources, is a look at what Baker is facing and what comes next:

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Cody Latimer (12) celebrates a touchdown pass against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Cody Latimer (12) celebrates a touchdown pass against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

As the legal situation for cornerback DeAndre Baker continues to unfold, a former Giant has now also had a run-in with the law. 

Per the Douglas County Sheriff's Department in Colorado, former Giants receiver Cody Latimer was arrested and charged with assault in the second degree, menacing and illegal discharge of a firearm. 

Police say deputies responded to a call of shots being fired at an apartment complex after an argument had been heard taking place very early on Saturday morning.

Tags: Cody Latimer, DeAndre Baker
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Giants GM Dave Gettleman
Giants GM Dave Gettleman

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Some more questions, and some more answers, in the latest edition of my SNY Giants mailbag:


Did you hear anything about the Giants trying to get Warford, Clowney, Ngakoue or anybody on the free agent market? -- @sld150

Sure, let's start with all the big names. And the answers are no, no, no, and not really.

I get that everyone loves the big names and wants their team to throw their money around. And sure, guard Larry Warford, edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney, or edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue would make the Giants better. But at what cost? Worford reportedly wants a contract worth more than $7 million per year? Clowney was seeking $18 million per year at last check. And Ngakoue is going to want well over $100 million in a long-term contract, and that's after trading for him which probably will cost at least the Giants' first-round pick in 2021, plus a lot more.

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jan 19, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Tennessee Titans cornerback Logan Ryan (26) runs onto the field before the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)
Jan 19, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Tennessee Titans cornerback Logan Ryan (26) runs onto the field before the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There is likely a long way to go before this DeAndre Baker mess plays out, but there's no doubt he is in a whole lot of trouble. The crimes he's accused of -- four counts of armed robbery, four counts of aggravated assault -- are serious. In Florida, armed robbery with a semiautomatic weapon carries a minimum sentence of 15 years in jail per count.

And even if he pleads his way down from that and doesn't spend the next 60 years in prison, an NFL suspension surely looms.

It's always hard to predict the time frame of how the legal process will play out or when the NFL will weigh in, but given the awful details in the arrest warrant that was released on Thursday night -- such as witnesses saying Baker ordered an accomplice to shoot his robbery victims -- it's hard to imagine the NFL will let him back on the field anytime soon, if ever. Even if they don't suspend him right away, he seems likely to land on the "Commissioner's exempt list" at the start of the year.

Tags: Corey Ballentine, DeAndre Baker, Eli Apple, Julian Love, Sam Beal, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The offseason roster-building is over, for the most part. What you currently see with your favorite NFL team is likely what you're going to get.

So what will you get in the NFC East in 2020? And how do the Giants stack up?

Here, with the help of some NFL sources, is a look at what and how those teams did, and what their outlook is for the (hopefully) upcoming season. They are listed in my projected order of finish in the NFC East:

Tags: Daniel Jones, DeAndre Baker, Jabril Peppers, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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The NFL Draft is over and the Giants look to be done with setting up their roster for training camp this upcoming season. But solidifying the right players for the 2020 season is far from over. 

With there no longer being a 53-man roster, two more roster slots open thanks to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that was voted on this offseason. 

So, with rookies and free agents joining the veterans already on the roster card, here is a way-too-early 55-man roster prediction for Big Blue.

Tags: Aldrick Rosas, Alec Ogletree, B.J. Hill, Corey Ballentine, Corey Coleman, Dalvin Tomlinson, Daniel Jones, Darius Slayton, DeAndre Baker, Dexter Lawrence, Eli Penny, Evan Engram, Golden Tate, Jabril Peppers, Janoris Jenkins, Jon Halapio, Julian Love, Kevin Zeitler, Leonard Williams, Lorenzo Carter, Nate Solder, Oshane Ximines, Riley Dixon, Ryan Connelly, Sam Beal, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Wayne Gallman, Will Hernandez, Zak DeOssie, Scott Thompson
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DeAndre Baker/Xavier McKinney
DeAndre Baker/Xavier McKinney

As the Giants were putting together a fine 2020 NFL Draft, teams within the NFC East were loading up on playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. 

The Cowboys had Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb fall into their laps at No. 17 overall, and the Eagles took their man in TCU WR Jalen Reagor at No. 21 overall to go along with more speedy receivers at the bottom of the draft. And then the 49ers traded Marquise Goodwin to Philadelphia as the Eagles brought in yet another veteran option to a receiving corps that was depleted last season. 

For the Giants, these new weapons on opposing offenses could be a big challenge next season under new head coach Joe Judge.

Tags: Corey Ballentine, DeAndre Baker, Julian Love, Sam Beal, Scott Thompson
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Jan 13, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Clemson Tigers linebacker Isaiah Simmons (11) reacts after losing the College Football Playoff national championship game against the LSU Tigers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports (Mark J. Rebilas)
Jan 13, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Clemson Tigers linebacker Isaiah Simmons (11) reacts after losing the College Football Playoff national championship game against the LSU Tigers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports (Mark J. Rebilas)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Dave Gettleman has been talking about "Hog Mollies" for years, and he promised to rebuild the Giants' offensive line on his first day as general manager nearly 2 1/2 years ago. Yet in his two drafts, he's only selected two offensive linemen -- only one above the seventh round, and none in the first.

There's a good chance that's about to change, with many believing the Giants will select the top offensive tackle on their board in the first round of the NFL draft on April 23.

But what if they don't? Here's how that might go, in the latest version of my Giants seven-round mock draft...

Tags: Corey Ballentine, Daniel Jones, DeAndre Baker, Golden Tate, Sam Beal, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jedrick Wills/Lloyd Cushenberry
Jedrick Wills/Lloyd Cushenberry

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Dave Gettleman has never traded down in the seven NFL Drafts he's been a general manager, but the sense around the NFL is that he's never been more willing to do it. That's partly due to a new philosophy in the Giants' front office and a willingness to break old habits.

But it's mostly because a unique opportunity should be there.

In some ways, the Giants are in a powerful position since they don't need a quarterback in a draft that has three who should go in the Top 10 -- maybe even the Top 5. There are several teams -- including two right below them -- who might be jockeying for position to get the quarterback they want. And the Giants could drop a few spots and still get the player they would've taken at No. 4 overall.

Tags: Dalvin Tomlinson, Daniel Jones, DeAndre Baker, Dexter Lawrence, Jabril Peppers, Jon Halapio, Leonard Williams, Sam Beal, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Chase Young/Isaiah Simmons
Chase Young/Isaiah Simmons

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

I've said it before, but I'll say it again: The Giants really can't go wrong at No. 4 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. 

Giants GM Dave Gettleman has options, and he'll likely explore all of them before he has to make his pick 22 days from now. The big question at the end of the day, though, is what position he wants to fill right away and which prospect he believes will be the perfect fit. 

The Giants' "Big Board," then, will hold the answers to that question as Gettleman and his team rank the best prospects in order based off their importance to fill needs and their overall skill level. Gettleman has always been one to say you can't go into a draft looking to fill a need, so how exactly should he stack that board? 

Tags: Daniel Jones, DeAndre Baker, Saquon Barkley, Scott Thompson
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Here's a player-by-player report card for the Giants' free agent signings so far


CB James Bradberry (three years, $45 million, $31.8 million guaranteed)

The Giants needed big-time help at this spot after dumping Janoris Jenkins in December, and they got arguably the second-best corner on the market at a somewhat reasonable price.

Bradberry is big (6-foot-1, 212 pounds), fast (4.45 40-yard dash), and he'll be a big help for an otherwise young secondary that includes last year's first-rounder DeAndre Baker and Sam Beal. If they were going to spend "big" money, it had to be either at corner or pass-rusher, and once most of the top pass-rushers were tagged, they wisely got aggressive here.

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Sam Beal, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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XFL players are allowed to sign with NFL teams, and the Giants took advantage of that by signing DB Dravon Askew-Henry to a two-year deal, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

Askew-Henry played for the New York Guardians, so he already knows what it's like to play at MetLife Stadium. And clearly he did enough for the Giants to believe he can crack the 53-man roster next season.

The former West Virginia Mountaineer is the cousin of legendary CB Darrelle Revis, and Rapoport added that he should compete for the nickel cornerback role that Corey Ballentine is currently slated for. 

Tags: Corey Ballentine, DeAndre Baker, Sam Beal, Scott Thompson
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

In some ways, Dave Gettleman went for quantity over quality during his free-agent shopping spree last week. For the most part, instead of getting the most expensive players on the market, he spread his money out so he could fill some of the Giants' many needs.

And he certainly did. He filled a big hole at cornerback, two at linebacker, and added a right tackle, all while also finding a backup quarterback, a special teams ace, and a blocking tight end. He also re-signed his kicker, the Giants' best special teamer, and -- though not everyone loves this move -- insured the Giants will get at least a full year out of Leonard Williams after his controversial trade.

In the process, Gettleman has used almost all of the Giants' $72.7 million in cap space. The exact number is hard to figure until the details of all the contracts are known, but he seems to have only about $7 million left based on the contracts and contract numbers SNY has obtained. He'll actually need to create some more space with either cuts or contract restructures to sign the Giants' draft picks and keep enough money as an in-season reserve.

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Sam Beal, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 8, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Cory Littleton (58) lines up during the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports (Jeremy Brevard)
Sep 8, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Cory Littleton (58) lines up during the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports (Jeremy Brevard)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Giants GM Dave Gettleman has finally seemed to embrace the obvious, that the Giants are not contending right now. They are rebuilding. And coming off a 4-12 season - their third straight with double-digit losses - they have a lot of rebuilding to do.

For starters, their entire defense is a mess, though they do have plenty of young players with promise. They are also still trying to fix an offensive line that was supposed to be Gettleman's priority when he arrived two years ago.

The good news is they have nearly $80 million in salary cap space to use when free agency begins next week. The bad news is that free agents are often overpriced, and the Giants learned the hard way in 2016 that they have to be smart with their spending. They also do have the fourth overall pick in the draft and 10 picks to use overall. So they certainly have the ammunition to get things done.

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It was Jan. 2, 2019, when Dave Gettleman uttered the phrase that became cemented in his legacy. He was asked about Odell Beckham Jr. and the rumors swirling that the Giants intended to trade him, just four months after giving him a $95 million deal.

"We didn't sign him to trade him," the Giants GM said, "if that's what you're asking."

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants and Jets have both made big-money investments in cornerbacks over the last four years, only to get less than satisfying returns. Still, both may be poised to do it again next week.

And they seem to be targeting the same ones.

There could be a Giants vs. Jets showdown brewing for the services of the top corners since both local teams have expressed some level of interest in free agents Byron Jones and James Bradberry, according to NFL sources. They've both also signaled that their interest is real and that -- to a point -- they are willing to spend.

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Sam Beal, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants and Jets have both made big-money investments in cornerbacks over the last four years, only to get less than satisfying returns. Still, both may be poised to do it again next week.

And they seem to be targeting the same ones.

There could be a Giants vs. Jets showdown brewing for the services of the top corners since both local teams have expressed some level of interest in free agents Byron Jones and James Bradberry, according to NFL sources. They've both also signaled that their interest is real and that -- to a point -- they are willing to spend.

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Sam Beal, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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With the Giants set to pick at No. 4 -- for now -- at the NFL Draft in April, Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah has been a likely target to end up in New York, and it looks like that process will get started this weekend when the two sides meet at the NFL Combine.

Okudah said early Friday morning in Indianapolis that he has a formal meeting with Big Blue on Saturday, having already met with the Lions, Browns and Raiders earlier in the week.

"I'm not too familiar with the New York market," Okudah said. "...I'm excited to find out."

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Sam Beal
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December 8, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Jack Conklin (78) during the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)
December 8, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Jack Conklin (78) during the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The last time the Giants had money to burn in free agency, they burned it at an unprecedented clip. They even managed to essentially buy their way into the playoffs, though that 2016 team was famously one-and-done.

The lesson, Giants co-owner John Mara said in a recent interview on WFAN, was "You can fix some holes pretty quickly (with free agency), but long-term I'm not sure that it really works."

In other words, don't expect the Giants to be big spenders when free agency opens on March 18, even though they'll have more than $60 million in salary cap space to spend. With Mara's endorsement, GM Dave Gettleman has taken a draft-centered approach to rebuilding the Giants (mostly). They'll dip into the free agent pool, to be sure, but it won't be a cannonball-type splash.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, DeAndre Baker, Jabril Peppers, Jon Halapio, Julian Love, Leonard Williams, Markus Golden, Sam Beal, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jan 19, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead (91) celebrates a sack against Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (not pictured) in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship Game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee )
Jan 19, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead (91) celebrates a sack against Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (not pictured) in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship Game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee )

Super Bowl LIV is finally here, as the Chiefs and 49ers square off at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Sunday night to see who will hoist the coveted Vince Lombardi trophy at the end of the night. 

Both squads have their stars. Patrick Mahomes leads a stacked offense that includes Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce as his weapons. But they're going to have to face off against Richard ShermanNick Bosa and the rest of the NFL's No. 2 defense. And, of course, you can't sleep on Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, and the rest of that Niners offense that ran all over the Packers two weeks ago. 

But, for Giants fans, there are a few players that you might want to keep your eye on as they'll enter free agency once this game is over. 

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Corey Ballentine, DeAndre Baker, Sam Beal, Scott Thompson
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Dave Gettleman
Dave Gettleman

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Giants had never really fired a general manager before Dec. 4, 2017, when Jerry Reese was told to clean out his office. The closest they came was in 1978, when Andy Robustelli left on his own, saving the Maras from pushing him out the door.

From 1979 through 2017, the Giants had three general managers with an average tenure of 13 seasons.

There's a reason for that kind of front office stability -- a very good reason. And no matter how frustrated John Mara and Steve Tisch may be with the last two miserable seasons, they shouldn't ignore that and change their philosophy with Dave Gettleman now.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Daniel Jones, DeAndre Baker, Dexter Lawrence, Eli Manning, Ereck Flowers, Julian Love, Nate Solder, Saquon Barkley, Will Hernandez, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - If this really was the end for Eli Manning, at least it was a fitting finale.

And if this wasn't the end ... well, maybe it should be.

The Giants' icon got to go out a winner, and once again heard the cheers from the crowd, in what might easily was the best performance of his final season in New York. The 38-year-old quarterback completed 20 of his 28 passes for 283 yards and threw two touchdowns. Sure, he also threw three interceptions. But his performance was enough to snap the Giants' franchise-record-tying nine-game losing streak and to beat the Miami Dolphins 36-20.

Tags: Antoine Bethea, Cody Latimer, Corey Ballentine, Dalvin Tomlinson, Daniel Jones, Darius Slayton, DeAndre Baker, Dexter Lawrence, Eli Manning, Golden Tate, Julian Love, Sam Beal, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHILADELPHIA - Eli Manning has built his career on storybook endings. But he couldn't do it one more time.

After 11 weeks of standing on the sidelines watching his successor in his old job, the 38-year-old Manning showed everyone on Monday night that there's still at least a little life left in his right arm - but just not nearly enough to give the Giants a much-needed victory. After a red-hot first half he cooled down considerably in the second.

That opened the door for the Eagles to rally from a 14-point halftime deficit and send the game into overtime. And when Carson Wentz hit Zach Ertz with a two-yard touchdown pass at the end of their first possession, the Eagles had a 23-17 win.

Tags: Darius Slayton, DeAndre Baker, Eli Manning, Julian Love, Leonard Williams, Markus Golden, Wayne Gallman, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Tim Fuller)
(Tim Fuller)

After a frustrating eighth straight loss for the Giants, CB Janoris Jenkins wasn't afraid to speak his mind about the team's defensive scheme. 

"You've got to use your weapons. I'm the only one in the league that doesn't travel (with the opponents top wide receiver). I don't understand why," Jenkins said. "It's common sense. I'm on the left side of the field all game. I get two passes thrown my way. All the top corners in the league travel. Rabbit doesn't travel anymore."

What Jenkins said was true. The Giants left him on the left side of the defense, and the Packers only looked his way on two passes, both of which went incomplete. 

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Janoris Jenkins, Sam Beal, Scott Thompson
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Oct 10, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur watches a play against the New England Patriots during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)
Oct 10, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur watches a play against the New England Patriots during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)

If the Giants are without strong safety Jabrill Peppers, head coach Pat Shurmur has an idea of how the defense will look Sunday when New York (2-9) hosts the NFC North-leading Green Bay Packers (8-3).

Ahead of Sunday's 1 p.m. kickoff at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Shurmur said Wednesday that the Giants are prepared to enter rookie Julian Love and veteran Michael Thomas into the safety rotation.

"We'll have a combination with Love back there and Michael Thomas, so we'll fill in," Shurmur said. "I thought Love did a good job, first extended action last week and so he displayed a lot of the things that we thought he might have. So we'll just try to build on that if, for some reason, Jabrill can't make it."

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Jabril Peppers, Julian Love, Michael Thomas, Sam Beal
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Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker (27) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Sep 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker (27) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

To put things lightly, Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker hasn't had the best start to his rookie season, and certainly not the start the first round pick had hoped for.

Coming out of Georgia, the 30th overall pick in the 2019 draft has struggled mightily since joining the NFL, and the wrong people are starting to notice.

According to ESPN's Jordan Raanan, two unnamed players described Baker as a "handful" this season, and it's an issue that has even become noticeable to opposing offensive players.

Tags: DeAndre Baker
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Julian Love (Brian Fluharty)
Julian Love (Brian Fluharty)

It's been well documented this season just how young this Giants defense is. They have the most amount of rookie snaps of any team in the NFL, and it's mainly because of their starters on defense. 

First-round cornerback DeAndre Baker has been starting since Day One, and so has DT Dexter Lawrence. Mix in players like LB Ryan Connelly (out for the season with torn ACL), OLB Oshane Ximines, and now CB Corey Ballentine and you can see why this unit has struggled facing top offenses this year. 

But this is what the Giants want: develop the young talent to set a foundation for next season and the foreseeable future. Rome wasn't built in a day, and GM Dave Gettleman and the rest of the front office realizes there is a process to this. 

Tags: Antoine Bethea, Corey Ballentine, DeAndre Baker, Julian Love, Oshane Ximines, Ryan Connelly, Sam Beal, Scott Thompson
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Sam Beal/DeAndre Baker
Sam Beal/DeAndre Baker

Giants head coach Pat Shurmur and his staff have many things to reflect on and review during this bye week, and what's been going on in the secondary is definitely at the top of the list. 

This very young group has struggled throughout the season. The Giants' pass defense is currently ranked 24th in the league, with 259 yards allowed per game. And they allow the sixth-worst quarterback rating at 103.5 on average. 

While every player in the secondary can share the blame for their bad moments this season, first-round pick DeAndre Baker has been the worst.

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Sam Beal, Scott Thompson
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants haven't led the NFL in much recently, but they had a big lead in one category through the end of October. No team played rookies more often than they did. And they led in that category by about 500 total snaps.

That only counted rookies, like quarterback Daniel Jones, defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, linebacker Oshane Ximines and corners Corey Ballentine and DeAndre Baker. It didn't count all their second-year pros like guard Will Hernandez, running back Saquon Barkley, defensive end B.J. Hill, linebacker Lorenzo Carter, and cornerbacks Grant Haley and now Sam Beal.

The point is, the Giants are young. Very, very young. And that might be the biggest reason to be optimistic about their future, and to believe that GM Dave Gettleman could have them on the right path.

Tags: B.J. Hill, Corey Ballentine, Daniel Jones, DeAndre Baker, Evan Engram, Jabril Peppers, Jon Halapio, Julian Love, Kevin Zeitler, Leonard Williams, Mike Remmers, Nate Solder, Sam Beal, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Will Hernandez, Ralph Vacchiano
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DeAndre Baker
DeAndre Baker

The Giants felt the need to trade back into the first round in the 2019 NFL Draft to get DeAndre Baker, who the team's highest-graded cornerback coming out of Georgia. 

It hasn't looked that way so far this season, though. 

Baker has certainly been going through rookie struggles, with a Pro Football Focus grade of 37.8 on the season thus far. He just seems to have a big miscue almost every contest, and that definitely goes for Monday Night Football against the Cowboys when -- on 3rd-and-12 for Dallas -- he played in zone coverage while everyone else was in man and Amari Cooper broke out a 45-yard touchdown run.

Tags: Corey Ballentine, DeAndre Baker, Janoris Jenkins, Sam Beal, Scott Thompson
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May 20, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants corner back Sam Beal answers questions from media during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 20, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants corner back Sam Beal answers questions from media during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Giants head coach Pat Shurmur revealed during a conference call on Tuesday that CB Sam Beal will be activated off the IR ahead of Sunday's matchup against the Jets. And the team made it official, with S Sean Chandler being waived to clear up a roster spot.

Beal's time on the IR -- he suffered from a hamstring injury during training camp and has been rehabbing it since -- is up after Week 9, and the Giants deemed him healthy enough to return. He made a 53-man roster spot and went on the IR, so he wouldn't get cut and potentially picked up by another team. 

Shurmur spoke last week about Beal, and said he liked what he saw.

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Sam Beal
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Oct 6, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur coaches during the first half against the Minnesota Vikings at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 6, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur coaches during the first half against the Minnesota Vikings at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Giants head coach Pat Shurmur made sure to discuss his own team and credit the Vikings following a 28-10 loss to Minnesota in Week 5. 

"We faced a good football team. There were times in the game we presented ourselves with opportunities... we didn't take advantage of them," Shurmur said.

But his most interesting comment following the game was his comments about some... future comments. 

Tags: Daniel Jones, DeAndre Baker
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants defense was being abused on Sunday afternoon, and it wasn't the first time. Their resistance wasn't just futile, it was non-existent. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were moving the football like Giants defenders weren't even there.

Then, out of nowhere, everything changed. Suddenly, they had a pass rush. They created a turnover. They got big, third-down stops. Up until the final drive, and before they were bailed out by a missed field goal, they looked like an actual defense for the first time this season.

And that, just as much as anything rookie quarterback Daniel Jones did, is why the Giants ended up winning that game.

Tags: DeAndre Baker, Jabril Peppers, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants free safety Jabrill Peppers (21) reacts during the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants free safety Jabrill Peppers (21) reacts during the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

When the Giants traded star receiver Odell Beckham to the Cleveland Browns on March 12, the haul brought versatile safety Jabrill Peppers back home.

Peppers, who rose up the football ranks in New Jersey via Paramus Catholic High School before heading to Michigan for three years and embarking on his NFL career in 2017, debuted Sunday with the Giants in a 31-22 win over the Jets.

The first look for Peppers in the starting defense yielded mixed results with Jets quarterback Sam Darnold going 4-of-5 passing for 68 yards and a touchdown, but the third-year defensive back keeps his head up as he and the Giants move further into the preseason.

Tags: Corey Ballentine, DeAndre Baker, Jabril Peppers, Janoris Jenkins, Sam Beal
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May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback draft pick Daniel Jones (8) passes the ball during a drill during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)
May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback draft pick Daniel Jones (8) passes the ball during a drill during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)

The Giants ended up making three picks on the first night of the 2019 NFL draft, but despite that, oddsmakers aren't viewing any of them as potential game changers in their rookie seasons. 

According to BetOnline.ag, quarterback Daniel Jones, the sixth-overall pick, defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, the No. 17 selection, and cornerback Deandre Baker, the 30th pick, all received modest odds for their respective Rookie of the Year Awards. 

There's a twist in regard to Lawrence and Baker, though. The later-drafted Baker has better odds at the hardware. Baker clocks in with 28/1 odds while Lawrence is at 33/1, which are the same odds that quarterback Jones landed for the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.

Tags: Daniel Jones, DeAndre Baker, Dexter Lawrence
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