The Arizona Cardinals could keep one of the NFL’s best safety tandems for quite some time if they properly rebuild what has been a depleted roster. Budda Baker is the one the Redbirds need to keep happy, and if he likes where the team is going, they should have zero problems extending him to be with the team for most of his career.
Jalen Thompson has been outstanding this season and may have overshadowed Baker productivity-wise. Thompson has three interceptions for 49 yards, a forced fumble, 62 tackles, four for a loss, and three quarterback hits, and he still has four more games to build upon those numbers.
But there is one more member, a newer member, of this trio who has played remarkable football, and that’s corner Garrett Williams. Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon recently included Williams, who has seen a lot of time at nickel, with Baker and Thompson in the form of one entity.
""It's a good trio back there. We have three really high quality players and the more they play with each other, the better they'll get.""- Jonathan Gannon
Source: Garrett Williams Gets A Read On His Rookie NFL Season by Zach Gershman, AZCardinals.com
Arizona Cardinals have quite the trio brewing at nickel and safety
Williams made an impact during his first game as a pro, and he’s been arguably the third-best player in the Cardinals secondary this season. With seven games and four starts into his rookie season, the 22-year-old has still allowed just 7.3 yards per catch on 16 completions allowed, and he’s mainly managed to shut down his portion of the field.
So if we have seen great returns from Williams through just seven games in a truncated rookie campaign, what kind of leap will he make from Year 1 to Year 2? We know this much: Given the overall chemistry Williams builds alongside Baker and Thompson throughout the final four games of this season, the better they will be in 2024.
They only need to stick together, and the Arizona Cardinals could boast one of the league’s best trios in the defensive backfield. This will give whoever lines up on the outside next season a major boost if the Cards must once again roll with stopgaps or youngsters.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)