Panthers draft: Baker/Dunbar situation should serve as a warning

Dean Jones
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Deandre Baker
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Deandre Baker /

The situation regarding Deandre Baker and Quinton Dunbar should serve as a warning for the current Carolina Panthers draft class.

The NFL offseason always comes with its fair share of controversy off the field. The latest concerning incident to hit the news should serve as a warning to the current Carolina Panthers draft class entering the league.

New York Giants’ 2019 first-round pick Deandre Baker and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar are both wanted by Miramar police on four counts each of armed robbery with a firearm. This incident occurred on Thursday evening and is the latest in a wealth of police-related matters regarding NFL players throughout history.

Having too much time on their hands seems to lead some down the wrong path. The Panthers draft class will be looking to avoid similar errors of judgement during their initial transition to the next level.

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It is essential that they surround themselves with the right sort of people to assist in this process. Having new-found fame and money inevitably comes with ‘hangers-on’ who are looking to exploit them. While talks from current and former professionals might be deemed useful, this predicament is something that is easy enough to fall into and it is up to the players themselves to keep a level head.

The Panthers have done a good job since their inception of keeping players on the right track. This is down to the exceptional support they receive not only during their adjustment from college to the pros. But also providing advice and guidance throughout their time with the franchise.

New head coach Matt Rhule spent most of the Panthers draft process looking for the right sort of characters that fit his expectations for the future in Carolina. This is almost as important as talent itself and goes a long way to determining whether a specific prospect is going to reach his ceiling or not.

If Baker is found guilty of these accusations, then he can kiss goodbye the $9 million guaranteed contract he signed last spring. The same applies to Dunbar, who is due to make $3.25 million in base salary on what is the final year of his current deal with the Seahawks.

This situation is further proof that one moment of alleged madness can have huge ramifications on a player’s career. However, it should serve as a warning to the Panthers draft class and others around the NFL of what can happen if you put yourself in a position where something like this might transpire.

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The list regarding misdemeanours involving past and current and NFL players is long. And while it appears unlikely the Panthers draft class will add their name to it. The current Baker and Dunbar mess has the potential to be career-ending for both if they are found guilty of the charges.