Anonymous Exec Rips Javon Baker for Off-Field Concerns

An anonymous NFL executive is concerned that Patriots rookie WR Javon Baker's off-field issues — including his father — could create issues in New England.
One anonymous NFL exec has off-field concerns regarding Patriots WR Javon Baker.
One anonymous NFL exec has off-field concerns regarding Patriots WR Javon Baker. / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots had a solid performance at the 2024 NFL Draft, adding eight promising rookies to their roster during last month's trip to Detroit. The wide receiver room was one of the Patriots' bigger weak spots last season, leading to their leaving the Motor City with two young WRs — including Javon Baker (Round 4, Pick 110).

There's no denying Baker's on-field potential following a tremendous breakout season at UCF. However, his off-field situation is another story. One NFL executive is concerned that the 22-year-old's father and other off-field issues could negatively impact the young playmaker's career.

Patriots Rumors: Concerns About Javon Baker's Off-Field Issues

Boston Sports Journal's Greg A. Bedard recently spoke with "an AFC senior personnel executive" about the Patriots' 2024 draft performance. The executive went on to mention that "half league had Javon Baker off their board for off-field issues" and that one of the biggest ones is his father.

According to the source, Baker's father, Jerald, "wants to be part of everything."

While no team wants a player with major off-field concerns, there's little reason to be worried about Baker. For starters, Bedard's work stems from a singular AFC executive who only "thought" that 16 NFL teams were against drafting the former UCF wideout. The source in question might not be a fan of the rookie, but it's hard to believe half the league told them about their draft plans.

Secondly, if there were major off-field concerns leading up to the draft, where were all the reports? Everyone knows how quickly the NFL rumor mill churns. If there were serious red flags regarding Baker's off-field behavior or work ethic, chances are it would've been made public a long time ago.

Thirdly, the fact that Baker's father was dragged into this rumor tells you everything you need to know. There's been absolutely no mention of or quotes from Jerald Baker in any article leading up to the draft. In fact, the only noteworthy mention is when he talked to Bama 24/7's Hank South leading up to his son's Crimson Tide debut from five years ago.

Again, if the elder Baker's behavior was a bigger issue, we'd likely know about it before Bedard's article.

At this point, it might be best to ignore what Bedard says regarding off-field concerns. He's the person who infamously wrote how concerns about Christian Barmore's intelligence led to him falling to the Patriots in the second round of the 2021 draft. Barmore proved Bedard wrong by becoming one of the team's top defenders and earning a massive $92 million extension.

Hopefully, Baker follows in Barmore's footsteps by proving Bedard (and any other doubters) wrong. The Atlanta, GA native has a bright future after two solid years at UCF that saw him rack up 108 receptions for 2,051 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns across 27 games while being named first-team All-Big 12 in 2023.

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