A top defensive player in the NFL is trying to switch teams. According to ESPN, Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker has asked to be traded after being named to the All-Pro team twice and the Pro Bowl five times.
Reports indicate that Baker notified the organization of his desire to be moved In February or offered a new contract that would make him the highest-paid safety in the NFL. The 27-year-old’s contract with the Cardinals has two more years to go. His projected earnings for 2023 and 2024 total just over $13 million and $14.2 million, respectively.
Baker, who was selected 36th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, has been named to his fourth straight Pro Bowl. If traded before the 2023 season, Baker might end up in one of these three places, as per CBS Sports.
5. Houston Texans
With new head coach DeMeco Ryans leading the charge, the arrival of Baker would be a huge boost for the club. The Texans have the salary-cap room and draft picks to pull off a deal of this size. Baker, a former NFL linebacker who served as the 49ers’ defensive coordinator for two successful seasons, seems like a good fit for Ryans’s system.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
Starting strong safety Terrell Edmunds just left the Steelers and joined the Eagles in free agency, a major loss for Pittsburgh. With Baker on board, the Steelers would have the league’s greatest safety tandem in Minkah Fitzpatrick and Baker. This change would also let Patrick Peterson keep his starting cornerback position rather than transition to free safety.
3. Dallas Cowboys
The addition of Baker to Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs would make the Cowboys’ defense unstoppable. Dallas has the requisite means to facilitate such a trade. Malik Hooker, Dallas’ current starting free safety and a Pro Bowl performer, may be part of a package sent to Arizona by the Cowboys.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
After a devastating free agency, the reigning NFC champs have voids to fill. Despite acquiring Edmunds, who helped shore up a weakness, the Eagles still need to replace starting safeties Marcus Epps and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, both of whom left through free agency. Baker would join an Eagles defense that also has Trey Edmunds, Darius Slay, and James Bradberry if he were to be traded to Philadelphia.
1. Green Bay Packers
Since Greg Williams, the Packers’ new defensive passing game coordinator, coached the Cardinals’ cornerbacks for the previous four seasons, Baker is a good fit for Green Bay’s need for a playmaking safety. The Packers have the financial resources to pull this off, ranking sixth in the NFL in cap space, per Spotrac.