The 2023 Pro Bowl will look dramatically different this season, and the Arizona Cardinals will be taking part in the new-look event.
The Arizona Cardinals have toiled through what has been their most miserable season since 2018. But that doesn’t mean a few positives haven’t emerged into the forefront. One positive is Budda Baker, one staple on the Redbirds since his rookie season in 2017.
Baker, who has 102 combined tackles on the season, two interceptions, six pass deflections, and a forced fumble, will take part in the inaugural Pro Bowl Games. While he has allowed a 74.3% completion percentage, the second highest of his career, he has also allowed his second lowest yards per target (7.4), and yards per completion (9.9).
This is Baker’s fifth overall Pro Bowl selection, having earned a trip to the event every year except for 2018. Along with Jalen Thompson, he comprises one-half of one of the NFL’s most dangerous tandems at safety, and you can make the case that this won’t be his last Pro Bowl appearance by any means.
Arizona Cardinals Budda Baker selected to 2023 Pro Bowl Games
The Pro Bowl will look dramatically different than it has in years’ past. To add more competitiveness to the game, the NFL is experimenting with a flag football event as opposed to tackling. It will also be a week-long event featuring skills competitions among selected players.
For the flag football event, former NFL quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning will serve as coaches, with Peyton heading up the AFC while Eli takes the NFC. Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders, will hold the event.
It remains to be seen whether this revamped Pro Bowl will be a hit with the fans. Clearly, the non-contact approach represents a radical shift from what we have seen in the past. If the product is entertaining, fans will embrace it. But if the gameplay continues to suffer as it has in years’ past, look for the NFL to make further modifications, if they don’t finally just do away with the event altogether.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)
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