The Kansas City Chiefs are cutting ties with some depth in the secondary, as cornerback Deandre Baker has been released, per ESPN. Baker had been with the Chiefs for the past two seasons, playing in 10 regular-season games with two starts and recording 21 combined tackles, one sack and two passes defensed.
Baker was originally drafted by the New York Giants with the No. 30 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Georgia. The Jim Thorpe Award winner recorded 61 combined tackles and eight passes defensed in his rookie season, but ran into off-field trouble that quickly changed the course of his career.
In May of 2020, Baker was charged in an armed robbery. While the charges were eventually dropped after his alleged victims' attorney was arrested on extortion charges, Baker was released by the Giants, and found himself on the Commissioner's Exempt List. The Chiefs then decided to take a flier on him in November of 2020. Just 24-years-old, it's likely another NFL team will take a chance on Baker.
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The Chiefs could afford to make a cut in the secondary, as they added some pieces this offseason. Kansas City drafted Trent McDuffie, Joshua Williams and Jaylen Watson, plus they traded with the Houston Texans for the versatile Lonnie Johnson.
The Chiefs statistically had the sixth-worst defense in terms of yards allowed per game last season, but they also allowed just 21.4 points per game -- which ranked No. 8 in the league. This unit is expected to be improved in 2022, and it certainly will need to if the Chiefs want to retain the division title.