A report by the New York Daily News alleges the NFL athletes paid off four witnesses to alter their initial statements that would have allegedly implicated them of their crimes.
On Friday night, one of Baker’s attorneys disputed the report on social media. This was followed by Bradford Cohen, Baker’s representative, claiming his client did not do what was suggested.
Michael Grieco, Dunbar’s attorney, firmly denied the allegations against his client. In a statement to the Seattle Times, Grieco claimed Dunbar and Baker are both victims of an extortion attempt by the accusers.
What Are The Charges?
Baker, 22, is currently facing a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 15 years. He has been charged with four counts of armed robbery with a firearm and four counts of aggravated assault. The charges come after an alleged house party incident on May 13 in Miramar, Fla.
Dunbar has been charged with four counts of armed robbery with a firearm, as well. They have both been released on bond.
After news surfaced of Baker’s legal charges, he was told by the Giants to not participate in their virtual offseason program. The team urged him to focus on his legal issues down in Florida.
Giants coach Joe Judge has not commented on Baker or the incident. He has also yet to meet with the player. Judge and the team are waiting for legal proceedings to evolve before they comment.
Although there has been no official report, it is likely Baker will lose his spot on the team. As a former Georgia football player, he was expected to be on the Giants’ roster in the upcoming season.
The Giants are expected to begin training camp on July 28 in New Jersey. Although Baker was formerly granted permission to travel out of Florida for his job, it is possible the team will rescind their invitation before then.
Where Did The Payoff Allegations Come From?
A warrant obtained from the Broward County Clerk of Courts claims Baker had messages on Instagram with a man named Dominic Johnson. In the direct messages to Johnson, there are statements that allegedly suggest Baker and Dunbar paid off four witnesses.
The messages claim the payoff was a lump sum of $55,000. A detective from the Miramar Police Department addressed the warrants as damning toward Baker and the allegations he now faces.
Baker was the third of the Giants’ first-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft. Although he played 16 games as a rookie and started in all but one, he has had his fair share of on-field and now off-field struggles.
Regardless of the fact, the team was still betting on Baker as a key player on their list of defensive players. He was their projected starter at cornerback, playing opposite of James Bradberry.
Baker and Dunbar’s charges are subject to review under a rule of Personal Conduct Policy. The NFL could also act if warranted to do so.
With the legal aspect aside, the charges against Baker and any rulings under the Collective Bargaining Agreement would be made by a neutral party. This neutral party would not be appointed by the NFL’s commissioner, but by the league and the NFL Players Association.
Although it is unclear how this will affect the athletes’ future in the industry, it is probable they will face consequences within the league.