May 15, 2020 | 2:10pm
There is a way for the Giants to keep cornerback DeAndre Baker amid his serious criminal issues and have him not count on their 90-man roster: if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell opts to put Baker on the exempt list.
The exempt list is used in unusual circumstances, a place for players deemed to be temporarily exempt from counting on a team�s Active List limit. It is most often used when a player is accused of domestic abuse or physical violence. Giants kicker Josh Brown was placed on the exempt list in 2016. Other players to find their way onto this list include Michael Vick, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Reuben Foster and Kareem Hunt.
A team cannot put a player on the list � only the commissioner can do it. A player on the exempt list receives his full salary and cannot attend games or practices but is allowed at the team facility, if the team permits it. Usually, a player on the exempt list stays away.
At this point, the exempt list is not needed. Under normal circumstances, the exempt list allows a player to handle his legal situation while distancing himself from the team. During the COVID-19 pandemic, all players are distancing from each other and not permitted in the team facility.
If Baker, charged by the Miramar Police Department with four counts of armed robbery with a firearm and four counts of aggravated assault, is placed on the exempt list his full 2020 salary cap hit of $2.3 million counts on the Giants� cap. Baker is in the second year of his four-year, $10.5 million rookie contract. He was paid a signing bonus of $5.67 million. His base salary in 2020 is $973,442 million. At this point in the off-season, no player is getting paid.
If the Giants decide to waive Baker, they would be charged dead money on their salary cap for the next three years. His dead money charges are $7.5 million in 2020, $5.1 million in 2021 and $3.2 million in 2022. That is not a priority at the moment for the Giants, though. They are concerned with seeing how this plays out and not interested in severing ties with Baker until the legal maneuverings take shape.