On Sunday night DeAndre Baker reached out to his employer to ask forgiveness. The 22-year-old cornerback represents not only himself but also the Giants, and his recent arrest on serious gun and robbery charges left the team with a black eye that will not go away any time soon.
Baker followed the instructions put forth for him and reached out to Jerry Meade, the Giants’ vice president of security. Baker, according to one of his attorneys, “conveyed his condolences’’ and asked his contrition be relayed to his teammates and general manager Dave Gettleman.
“I look in this kid’s eyes, and within 24 hours, unfortunately having to stay overnight in jail, I see a different kid,’’ Patrick Patel told The Post on Monday. “I hope to God I’m right about this.’’
There is much to be done before Baker’s reputation is salvaged. He is facing four counts of armed robbery with a firearm and four counts of aggravated assault stemming from an incident Wednesday night at a house party in the Miami area. He is facing a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison for each of the four armed robbery charges. Baker spent Saturday night at the Broward County jail and was released Sunday after posting bond of $200,000.
Patel, representing Baker along with Florida-based attorney Bradford Cohen, believes the case has no merit and will be dismissed. Patel’s history with Baker goes back only a few days, after he was retained following the arrest warrant issued Thursday.
“Honest to God, I’m doing this almost 40 years, dealing with a lot of people, a lot of athletes, his state of mind is a 180 from what I’ve seen,’’ Patel said. “When I first met him and interviewed him he was very upset, taken aback but now he’s got fire back in him and he realizes he has the opportunity to become Ray Lewis and not Ray Rice.’’
Baker is now living with his parents in the Miami area and got up at 6 a.m. Monday for what Patel described as “Rocky-style training regiment.’’ The Giants told Baker to stay off the Zoom meetings the team is conducting for the remote offseason program in order to focus on his legal issues.
“I think it’s a conservative sign and I think it’s something we don’t have a problem with,’’ Patel said. “Unfortunately he’s already been tarnished so I understand the Giants move. We have no issue with that at all.’’
Next week, Patel hopes to revisit this arrangement with the Giants. Baker realizes he put the team, and himself, in a precarious situation. Gettleman traded three draft picks to move into the No. 30 overall slot in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft to take Baker out of Georgia.
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“He doesn’t want to lose his job and he wants to prove to the general manager that he deserves the draft choices they gave up and he wants to be a first-rounder again,’’ Patel said. “He admits he had a tough season last year, this is gonna make it tougher. At this point, it’s gonna be up to him to do it.’’
In the next day or so, Patel will ask the court to allow Baker’s gun to be held in trust. The plan is for Baker to hire someone for his private security when he goes out or travels to “avoid the hoods,’’ Patel said, who may seek to take advantage of him.
There also will be a request to grant permission for Baker to travel to New Jersey, so he can attend workouts at the Giants facility whenever players are allowed to return, as long as the Giants want him back in the building.
Patel said he and Cohen are “very confident in a complete vindication’’ for Baker.
“As far as fighting for his life with the NFL and the Giants, he’s going to have to do that,’’ Patel said. “That unfortunately is part of being in the limelight. What we appreciate from the Giants is their concern he doesn’t have any deep underlying issues. I think they understand he doesn’t.’’
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