There are more questions than answers in the too-strange-for-Hollywood saga of former New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker, and veteran NFL wide receiver Dez Bryant has a question of his own: Will the reporters who were quick to report Baker’s arrest be as enthusiastic in reporting that he’s apparently in the clear now?
The story has become so convoluted, however, that it is tough to figure out what to report at the moment beyond the fact that Baker is a free man.
DeAndre Baker no longer faces charges in Florida
Prosecutors announced on Nov. 16, 2020, that charges against former New York Giants first-round bust DeAndre Baker have been dropped. Baker, 23, had been charged with four counts of robbery with a firearm in connection with a May 13 incident at a party in Miramar, Florida.
Now, William Dean, an attorney representing three men who had said they were victims, is under arrest. Police allege Dean attempted to extort approximately $800,000 in exchange for his clients recanting their statements and exonerating Baker.
“Evidence in the case reveals that Dean told Baker’s attorney that his clients would do ‘anything you want, so long as the money is right,'” the sheriff’s office said in a statement, according to NBC News.
Assistant state attorney Paul Valcore said the witnesses’ credibility is “inalterably tarnished.”
Seattle Seahawks defender Quinton Dunbar was also arrested in connection to the case but was not charged.
Dez Bryant lashes out at the media
The New York Giants waived DeAndre Baker, the No. 30 overall draft pick in 2019, nearly four months after his alleged involvement in a May robbery in Florida. Baker had an abysmal rookie year. Making matters worse, the Giants surrendered two extra draft picks to the Seattle Seahawks in order to move up a mere seven spots in order to select him out of the University of Georgia.
At this point, what the Seahawks extracted from the Giants in the trade is the only provable crime involving Baker. And that bothers former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, back in the league with the Baltimore Ravens after two-plus years out of the sport.
Bryant took to Twitter after hearing that the charges against Baker had been dropped.
“Can we blow this up the way it blew up whenever they got accused?? I’m not hearing people (the media) talk about how stupid the person who tried to extort him,” he wrote. “SMFH… this is where mental Illness start whenever blacks get accused of false accusations … Praying for you Baker”
Dez Bryant is getting a little ahead of himself
A follow-up tweet by Dez Bryant alludes to DeAndre Baker being falsely accused and frames it as a race issue. “You are not BLACK so you wouldn’t understand,” he wrote.
However, Bryant is leaping to a conclusion that Monday’s developments don’t necessarily support. The three witnesses who have recanted their stories have now given two wildly different accounts of what took place last spring at a party in Miramar, Florida.
The fact that their lawyer has been arrested for allegedly attempting to extort money from Baker merely clouds the issue. Authorities don’t know whether the $800,000 he was allegedly attempting to extort from Baker was intended to get the three witnesses to lie or whether it was to have them speak the truth.
Unless other witnesses come forward, though, prosecutors are at a dead end. They would be hard-pressed to take another look at Baker’s possible involvement in a crime, but that’s not the same as saying they’re sure he wasn’t involved.