Latest On Cardinals S Budda Baker

A busy Cardinals offseason has seen a number of changes take place on the field, the sidelines and in the front office. The status of safety Budda Baker remains undetermined, though.

The two-time All-Pro’s trade request became public in April, though it dated back to the end of the 2022 season, one which saw Arizona go 4-13 and set the stage for what is expected to be a long-term rebuilding process. To little surprise, finances were a central part of Baker’s desire to be moved. He reportedly asked to either become the league’s top-paid safety or moved to a new team.

On the latter point, Baker’s agent David Mulugheta informed NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo that their camp is not seeking to reset the safety market (video link). Derwin James tops the list in terms of AAV and guarantees at the position with an average of $19MM per season on his current Chargers pact. Baker ranks seventh in that regard with a $14.75MM figure. Two years remain on the 27-year-old’s contract, which does not include any outstanding guranteed money.

Aside from financial matters, Garafolo notes that Baker informed the Cardinals ahead of the 2022 campaign that his intention was to play on a contending team. The direction Arizona is now headed in would point to a trade becoming a distinct possibility, considering Baker’s continued production. He earned a fourth consecutive (and fifth overall) Pro Bowl nod last season after collecting 111 tackles, a pair of interceptions and seven pass breakups. His trade market would likely be dictated by the willingness of acquiring teams to commit to a new contract, however.

Baker was present for Cardinals minicamp earlier this month, though he did not take part in on-field practices. Garafolo notes that the former second-rounder is expected to attend training camp in July, but a similar hold-in would not come as a surprise if his contract status remains unresolved. With many of the team’s other offseason decisions taken care of, it will be interesting to monitor how this situation is handled by the Cardinals in the coming weeks.

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