Arizona Cardinals: Top 3 destinations for Budda Baker in 2023
By Sion Fawkes
It’s all but a foregone conclusion that Budda Baker won’t be donning one of those new and improved Arizona Cardinals uniforms this season.
If Budda Baker goes for less than a first round pick, I would be shocked, a far cry from what’s being claimed around the league that he could go for a second or third round pick. Listen, if general manager Monti Ossenfort accepted anything under a first round pick, it’d be a foolish mistake under most circumstances. Baker has too many credentials, and there’s the fact he’s entrenched in his prime.
He will also generate plenty of interest in the coming weeks, if not before the 2023 NFL Draft. So don’t be surprised when safety-needy teams bid for and increase their respective offers to the point he goes for at least a first, and probably more. Who is most likely to pull off a deal? Here are three potential destinations I have my eye on.
3 teams most likely to trade for Arizona Cardinals safety
1 - Cincinnati Bengals
Teams like the Cincinnati Bengals know they’re only a player or two away from returning to the Super Bowl. They also need a safety to replace the departed Jesse Bates, and Budda Baker would easily ensure this team doesn’t miss a beat.
If there is one team most willing to part ways with a first round pick for a proven veteran, it’s the Bengals. Expect them to come calling.
2 - Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers fans will have visions for a remarkable tandem featuring Budda Baker and Minkah Fitzpatrick. And while the Steelers signed Keanu Neal, he figures to be more of a rotational piece than a full time starter.
Ideally, Pittsburgh trades its first in 2023, but it’s important to remember that they could also send their second round pick over since it’s technically still in the top 32 for the year. If the latter situation is the case, Ossenfort should have no qualms about sending Baker to the Steel City.
3 - Minnesota Vikings
This is another instance where a team wouldn’t need to swap a first rounder with the Arizona Cardinals. Instead, the Minnesota Vikings will trade Dalvin Cook to the Cards, where he will form a more than serviceable one-two punch with James Conner, and Arizona will send Baker to Minneapolis, allowing him to reunite with Byron Murphy.
Overall, all three destinations listed above make sense, and chances are, the Redbirds will end up in a win-win situation, regardless of who they ultimately trade Budda Baker to. A first round pick would be great, but if the Cards can get another high quality player like Dalvin Cook, it also works in their favor.