Budda Baker has been a good soldier for the Arizona Cardinals throughout the offseason program, despite the star safety requesting a trade back in April, and he’ll continue to be by reporting to training camp on Tuesday, according to ESPN. The 27-year-old was present for mandatory minicamp and is planning to take part in training camp later this summer, but that doesn’t mean that this situation is fully resolved.
During a June 30 segment on the NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football,” Mike Garafolo relayed a text he received from Baker’s agent, David Mulugheta, that gives more context to his client’s situation and current standing with the team.
“He doesn’t want to be the highest-paid safety. He never said that,” Mulugheta told Garafolo. “He just wants to be paid fairly for what he brings to the table. He told the team before the season that he wanted to go play for a contender and that he didn’t want to be part of a rebuild. … [I believe] it’s time the Cardinals extend Budda if they believe he is a part of their future plans.”
Back in the summer of 2020, Baker inked a four-year, $59 million extension with Arizona, which, at the time, made him the highest-paid safety in NFL history. He is set to make roughly $13.1 million in base salary for the 2023 season and $14.2 million in 2024. Baker’s $14.75 million in average annual salary coming into this season currently ranks him seventh among safeties in the league.
Judging by Mulugheta’s comments, it does seem like Baker is looking for security from the Cardinals and that they see him as a foundational piece going forward and should lock him up contractually to prove it. If not, Baker may be better served to join a contender in hopes of winning his first Super Bowl title.
The Cardinals do appear to be on the verge of a rebuild after hiring first-time head coach Jonathan Gannon and GM Monti Ossenfort this offseason. With Kyler…