The contract extension signed by Budda Baker this past week could be the first of several handed out by the Arizona Cardinals
Fans of the Arizona Cardinals can breathe a sigh of relief. In what can be considered a proactive move, the club’s front office signed safety Budda Baker to a four-year contract extension this past Tuesday. The transaction takes one of Arizona’s key contributors off of next year’s free agent list, but there’s still plenty of work to be done.
One of the biggest names on the Cards roster who’ll be seeking a new deal in 2021 is cornerback Patrick Peterson. After starting his NFL career with eight consecutive Pro Bowl appearances, the 30-year old’s 2019 campaign was anything but memorable. Peterson was suspended for six games after testing positive for PEDs, and was burned far too often when he returned for the Cardinals final 10 matchups.
To his credit, Peterson did finish the season on a high note. In fact, the Cards first-round draft pick in 2011 was one of the highest-ranked cover guys in the league over the last four contests of ’19. Arizona may want to see Peterson’s excellent play continue this coming fall before they commit to what will surely be a highly-lucrative extension.
Another Cardinals player who has been mentioned in extension talks is edge rusher Chandler Jones. Management doesn’t have to act quickly with the 30-year old sack specialist, however, due to the fact that Jones has two years remaining on his current deal. The 6’5, 255 pounder has the most sacks in pro football since 2016, so he very well may break the bank when he agrees to his next contract with the Cards.
Running back Kenyan Drake could also potentially hit the market next offseason. The 26-year old agreed to a tender offer back in March that will pay him $8.4 million this fall. Drake will receive a huge raise in ’21 if the ball-carrier performs as well as he did for Arizona last season.
Other players who have contracts that are expiring are Larry Fitzgerald, De’Vondre Campbell, J.R. Sweezy, Corey Peters, Zane Gonzalez and Andy Lee. It would be a small miracle if the Cardinals were able to retain
all of those individuals. Getting a head start on next offseason’s workload, like they did by extending Baker, could help the organization to achieve that goal.