What Budda Baker's latest quip means for the Arizona Cardinals
By Sion Fawkes
Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker revealed his feelings about the team in his latest cryptic quote. Could it spell the end for him in the desert?
Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker has been the face of the franchise, or at least its defense, since he came to the desert in 2017. Since his rookie year, Baker has received a ton of career accolades, including four All-Pro selections, five trips to the Pro Bowl, and a spot on the PFWA All-Rookie Team.
He’s been a tremendous asset for the Cardinals, but now, the two camps appear to be heading in the opposite direction, as outlined by Baker’s latest quote. And in case you missed it, feel free to check it out for yourself.
What does Baker’s quote mean for the Arizona Cardinals?
At this point, Baker is the fourth-highest paid safety in the NFL in terms of base salary, per SpoTrac, with over $13 million heading his way this season. Baker, who signed the deal in 2020, is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2024 season, but as it stands, his latest quote could threaten a holdout.
If Baker indeed holds out, the Arizona Cardinals could be in trouble, because at this point, there is literally nobody on the roster capable of filling his shoes. In fact, there is no other safety on the roster, sans Jalen Thompson, that has any business starting in the NFL, so unless general manager Monti Ossenfort works out a deal with the disgruntled safety, he will have no choice but to sign a stopgap if Baker decides to hold out.
Baker initially showed signs of wanting a new contract last month, shortly before the NFL Draft. There was some speculation Ossenfort was going to trade him during the final weekend in April, but nothing materialized.
As it currently stands, the Cards have few options: Either extend Baker and make him the NFL’s highest safety, or trade him while he still has immense value, perhaps for another youngster or two that the Cardinals can add to their team, or maybe even a couple more draft picks for 2024.
Source: Budda Baker's Instagram story says he feels disrespected by Jess Root, CardsWire.USAToday.com
(Career data provided by Pro-Football-Reference)