New York York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar have both been placed on paid leave following their May arrests for armed robbery in Florida.
As a league spokesman confirmed to the Daily Mail on Monday, a day before training camps open across the NFL, Baker and Dunbar were both placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, which means they will not be reporting to work on Tuesday. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was the first to report the news. Players on the exempt list are paid, whereas an outright suspension would have cost them salary.
Dunbar and Baker were arrested after allegedly stealing more than $70,000 in cash and jewelry at a party in Miramar, Florida on May 13. Baker was charged with four counts of armed robbery and four counts of aggravated assault, while Dunbar is facing four counts of armed robbery. Both pleaded not guilty to all charges and were released on bond.
New York York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker (left) and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar (right) have both been placed on paid leave following their May arrest for armed robbery in Florida. As a league spokesman confirmed to the Daily Mail on Monday, a day before training camps open across the NFL, Baker and Dunbar were both placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, which means they will not be reporting to work on Tuesday
DeAndre Baker, 22, was a first-round pick of the Giants in 2019. He appeared in 16 games last season, making 15 starts and recording 61 tackles and eight passes defensed
The alleged victims have since changed their testimony, but may have been coerced.
The New York Daily News reported on July 10 that authorities believe Dunbar and Baker took part in a $55,000 payoff to four alleged victims. That belief, according to the report, stems from a search warrant that revealed the alleged payoff took place at the office of Dunbar’s lawyer, Michael Grieco, on May 15.
However, Baker’s attorney claims his client refused the accusers, which is why Baker’s name was omitted when they recanted their testimony against Dunbar on May 15.
Baker’s attorney, Bradford Cohen, also claimed he told the Broward State Attorney’s Office and the FBI that his client was being extorted by the victims, who were threatening to go to gossip website TMZ with the allegation that both Baker and Dunbar stole thousands of dollars in cash and jewelry at gunpoint.
‘We received information from a third party that basically said if they don’t get paid, they were going to go to TMZ,’ said Cohen, as quoted by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. ‘We knew right away that this was extortion, and we weren’t going to be a part of that.’
Quinton Dunbar, who turns 28 on July 22, was acquired by Seattle from Washington in March in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round pick. Last year he recorded a career-high four interceptions
The four accusers received a total of $55,000 cash at the Miami office of Dunbar’s attorney, Michael Grieco (pictured), according to Florida investigators. Grieco has denied the charges
The Sun-Sentinel also reported that Grieco is being investigated by the Florida Bar to determine if he had any role in the bribe.
‘There is no way he could not have seen this transaction,’ the warrant states.
In exchange for the alleged payoff, the four unidentified individuals signed affidavits recanting their initial statements to police, according to the warrant.
Attorney Bradford Cohen claims his client DeAndre Baker didn’t pay off his accusers
The alleged victims stated on May 15 that ‘any robbery or assault, with or without a firearm, did not involve Mr. Dunbar.’
After the Daily News report, Grieco issued a statement to the Seattle Times, denying the payoff.
‘Law enforcement, both local and federal, was advised from day one and beyond that the alleged “victims” in this case were actively extorting Baker and Dunbar,’ Grieco said, per The Times. ‘These men fabricated a robbery story after waiting an hour to call police and then immediately began contacting the players demanding money.
‘My office obtained accurate and truthful affidavits consistent with the independent witness and my client’s account. These “victims” are seasoned career criminals who have been arrested and/or convicted of crimes ranging from conspiracy to commit murder, to human trafficking, to filing a false police report. Mr. Dunbar took and passed a polygraph confirming that he did not participate or witness any robbery.’
Baker, 22, was a first-round pick of the Giants in 2019. He appeared in 16 games last season, making 15 starts and recording 61 tackles and eight passes defensed.
Dunbar, who turns 28 on July 22, was acquired by Seattle from Washington in March in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round pick. Last season, he recorded a career-high four interceptions in 11 games.
The Daily News reported that among the evidence cited by police are video evidence, social media messages and additional testimony that show that the payoff not only took place in Grieco’s office (pictured), but that Baker was also in attendance, along with two other men (neither are identified as Dunbar) plus the four alleged victims.