In a move just about everyone but the NY Giants saw coming, DeAndre Baker has been officially placed on the commissioner’s exempt list.
I’m not sure who deserves more blame for the NY Giants’ handling of the DeAndre Baker saga this offseason – GM Dave Gettleman or head coach Joe Judge – but either way, there’s plenty of blame to go around.
While it’s incredibly debatable whether or not Gettleman could or should have foreseen any future criminal activity when he drafted DeAndre Baker, to me, it’s not debatable that the organization has bungled the handling of this situation since it transpired.
And for an organization that swears character and locker room culture are their main concern from the top down, it’s incredibly hypocritical that they were actually about to try to let a player accused of what DeAndre Baker is accused of on their practice field until he was proven innocent.
Far too often during this whole ordeal, NY Giants fans seem to have been confused on the matter of how much a privilege it is to play in the NFL.
We’re not talking about his right to a fair trial and being innocent until proven guilty; those are rights we all enjoy as Americans, but being able to play for the NFL and walk the streets as a free man until proven guilty in the court of law are entirely different things.
Roger Goodell doesn’t – and never did – need any sort of conviction to place DeAndre Baker on this list, as any even moderate NFL fan should know by now after seeing similar situations play out over the years.
Based on his track record as commissioner, it should have been as clear as day to the NY Giants that DeAndre Baker would have been placed on the commissioner’s exempt list as soon as these charges broke.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, that has now officially happened.
Even worse, the team has had months now to decide the fate of DeAndre Baker or at least come out and make a strong statement either way.
All the team had to do from the beginning – and especially after the explosive cover-up evidence came out – was make some sort of statement saying that they were hanging on to Baker, but he would be held out of any activity until he was proven innocent due to the severity of the allegations.
It appears the NY Giants organization – namely owner John Mara -has learned nothing from the Josh Brown situation, as the team now ‘enjoys’ having owned two of the eight players ever placed on the infamous exempt list.
Just like in this case, the team waited too long to act and in turn had egg on its face by having the commissioner step in and discipline their own player.
Congratulations to DeAndre Baker on being the 8th player ever to be put on the commissioner’s exempt list, it might be the single highest accomplishment of his NFL career when its all said and done (tongue and cheek, of course).