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.
That means the Giants will very quickly have to plan for life without Baker, who was expected to be one of their starting cornerbacks this year. That's tough to do in mid-May, when the draft is over and all the best free agents are signed.
Here's a look at the Giants' options to replace Baker in the short term, as a starter next to James Bradberry in 2020:
The 29-year-old New Jersey native and Rutgers product makes the most sense. He's the best free agent on the market. He's expressed an interest in returning to his home state. He's been flirting with the Jets, though they've yet to make him an offer. And perhaps most significantly, he played for the Patriots from 2013-16 when Joe Judge was an assistant there. He'd be an immediate solid starter and a natural fit.
A free agent after spending eight years with the Bengals, the big corner (6-2, 190) comes with some injury concerns -- including a hyper-extended knee that limited him to just six games last season. But the 30-year-old is another solid starter and he also has ties to Judge. Kirkpatrick played at Alabama when Judge was an assistant there.
A former first-round pick who never really lived up to expectations, the 28-year-old is still available after his three-year, $13.5 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars fell through in March. That's a red flag, though. It means he either wanted more money or his health was a concern. He did miss the first seven games last season after arthroscopic knee surgery, and has other injury issues in his career.
The 23-year-old could be the most likely option to step in, but that's if he can stay on the field. A third-round pick by the Giants in the 2018 supplemental draft, he missed his rookie season with a shoulder injury and 10 games last year with a hamstring injury.
The 2018 undrafted free agent has been a pleasant surprise for the Giants and has even started 12 games in his first two NFL seasons. But he's mostly a slot cornerback and at 5-9, 190 he's not ideal for the outside. He could be the stop-gap solution, though, if the Giants don't bring in a free agent and no one else is ready.
An intriguing option because the 2019 fourth-round pick was a cornerback at Notre Dame before the Giants switched him to safety. He started five games at safety last year, but he was shaky and the Giants replaced him by drafting Xavier McKinney in the second round last month. Love figured to be the third safety, but moving him back to corner has to be considered now.
The Giants' fourth-round pick out of UCLA last month, he figured to be competition for Beal at nickel back, but scouts didn't think he'd be ready to step right in as a regular starter. He was a three-year starter for the Bruins, though, so maybe they could push that timetable up.
He's a great story, surviving a shooting that killed his best friend right after the Giants took him in the sixth round of the draft last year. He did have a few good moments, but he mostly struggled on defense and figured to have more of a future on special teams. Now he's probably back in the nickel corner mix.
Crazy, right? The former first-round pick by the Giants (2016) was traded to the New Orleans Saints in Dave Gettleman's initial house-cleaning amid character and attitude concerns. He played well for the Saints, though, and after a free agent deal with the Raiders fell through, he's still available. It's hard to imagine either he or the Giants want to go down this road again, but these are desperate times.