There are a particular group of Arizona Cardinals who will be worth the price of admission when the 2023 NFL campaign gets underway.
The Arizona Cardinals braintrust had to do one heck of a sales job when they were searching for a new head coach this past winter. Sean Payton came to town for a visit, but there was no way that owner Michael Bidwill was going to pay the 59-year-old what he wanted. Cards general manager Monti Ossenfort also conducted two interviews with the highly-coveted Dan Quinn, but the Dallas Cowboys assistant also turned down the club's advances.
After failing to land Payton and Quinn, the Cardinals ended up settling on 40-year-old Jonathan Gannon. It was a strange hire, when you consider that Philadelphia Eagles fans couldn't wait for the embattled defensive coordinator to leave the "City of Brotherly Love". Pairing an undeserving head-coaching candidate with an undermanned roster certainly sounds like a recipe for disaster.
Actually, the cupboard isn't completely bare in the Arizona desert. As bad as Gannon's squad is projected to be during the upcoming campaign, there are glimmers of hope. The following are the five best aspects of the 2023 Cards roster.
Budda Baker - Strong safety
Arizona Cardinals fans were bracing for the worst when the news broke that safety Budda Baker was asking to be traded. Parting ways with such an integral part of the defense would've made zero sense. Especially when you consider that Baker has two years left on the lucrative contract-extension he signed back in 2020.
Baker's accomplishments since he came to the NFL back in 2017 have been absolutely fantastic. Following his first pro campaign, the 5 foot 10,195 pounder was voted to the Pro Bowl because of his special teams prowess. In four out of the next five seasons, Baker received the same honor for the sensational work he has done in the Arizona secondary.
It appears that all of the trade talk surrounding Baker has gone away, at least for the time being. The 27-year-old's presence alone brings a level of respectability to first-year coordinator Nick Rallis' defensive unit. The hope is that Baker and the organization will ultimately come to an agreement that will keep him in a Cards uniform for his entire professional career.