clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Chiefs expected to sign cornerback DeAndre Baker to practice squad

NFL: MAR 03 Scouting Combine Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs are expected to sign cornerback former New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker to their practice squad, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.

Garafolo added that Baker’s stay on the practice squad is expected to be short-lived. Once he “gets up to speed,” he will be activated to the 53-man roster. We first learned earlier on Tuesday that Baker would be “heading to Kansas City” to meet with the Chiefsaccording to a report from the New York Post.

Baker, 23, first entered the league in 2019 when the Giants selected him with the 30th overall pick in the NFL Draft. The 5-foot-11, 188-pound cornerback registered 61 tackles (48 solo) and eight passes defensed in 15 games for New York.

Our defensive film analyst, Craig Stout, chimed in with a breakdown of why the Chiefs might see him as a fit in Kansas City.

STOUT: Baker’s fit in Kansas City will be interesting, compared to some of the other players they’ve focused on developing during Spagnuolo’s tenure. Baker’s build and athletic profile most closely matches up to Rashad Fenton’s — who Spagnuolo plays primarily in the slot. Fenton is a good zone cornerback that Spagnuolo rotates deep and into space often.

Meanwhile, Baker is more of a press-man guy who isn’t great in zone. Playing that role hasn’t been his forte throughout his collegiate and professional career. Baker could definitely play on the outside — where he’s most comfortable — as a press-man cornerback with ball skills. However, that’s where the Chiefs have gone to longer, faster players such as L’Jarius Sneed and BoPete Keyes).

Defensive back and cornerbacks coach Sam Madison and Spagnuolo have both gushed about needing that. Baker would break against that, and he hasn’t been particularly successful there. In his rookie season in 2019, Baker allowed 54 completions on 88 targets (61.4%) for 850 yards and six touchdowns. By comparison, Charvarius Ward and Bashaud Breeland allowed a combined 72 catches on 151 targets (47.6%) for 1,118 yards and six touchdowns that same year.

Kansas City’s locker room certainly has the players to contain any character or work ethic concerns, so the risk is minimal — especially for the amount of money Baker will likely cost. If the Chiefs are looking for a stash-and-save cornerback candidate for the 2021 roster, they might be able to maximize his potential and catch a good, cheap player to help round out their defensive back room.

As Craig mentioned, there may be character concerns to work through with the former first-rounder, as the Giants waived him back in early September as Baker went through significant legal troubles. At the time, Baker cleared waivers and was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list.

Baker was being prosecuted on four counts of robbery with a firearm that stemmed from an incident that occurred in May. However, on Tuesday, the Broward State Attorney’s Office dropped all charges against Baker when the attorney for the alleged victims was charged with extortion.

The Giants showed little interest in reuniting with Baker when asked on Tuesday, but the Chiefs are looking to be the team that will grant him his next opportunity in the NFL.

Arrowhead Pride Premiere

Sign up now for a 7-day free trial of Arrowhead Pride Premier, with exclusive updates from Pete Sweeney on the ground at Arrowhead, instant reactions after each game, and in-depth Chiefs analysis from film expert Jon Ledyard.