The Arizona Cardinals have a youth movement going on in Glendale. It is long overdue and should set the team up for a better 2023 and beyond. GM Monti Ossenfort showed his cards when he cut bait on DeAndre Hopkins. Now, it only seems a matter of time before Ossenfort orchestrates a trade for safety Budda Baker. To his credit, Baker is saying all the right things in the ramp-up to whatever happens next. Baker signed a four-year, $59 million contract extension in 2020. The deal, which began in 2021, has two years left on it.
Team source: Budda Baker informed the Cardinals in February that he wanted to be traded or receive a new deal to make him the highest-paid safety.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 14, 2023
Source: #AZCardinals star S Budda Baker has requested a trade.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 14, 2023
He has let it be known that he will not report to minicamp but added that when it’s time for him to report (mandatory) he will be there.
The more interesting question is whether he will be reporting in Cardinals’ gear or that of another team. Regardless, moving Baker will only further solidify that 2023 and perhaps even 2024 are seasons of re-identifying and branding. It also raises a lot of questions about how Arizona approaches the draft next year. Right now, the Cardinals look to be holding their powder for the best deal out there. Here are five teams who could help Arizona get that deal.
5 Teams That Could Trade For Budda Baker
1 – Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles trade for Budda Baker, and Arizona gets a 2024 fifth-round selection, and a 2025 third-round pick.
Philadelphia rode a 14-3 record (4-2 NFC East) all the way to Glendale for Super Bowl LVII. While they would lose to the Kansas City Chiefs 28-35. The Eagles remain one star safety away from completing their elite defense. Philadelphia already has $12.7 million in cap space. They wouldn’t have to create a ton of room to absorb Baker’s $13 million base salary.
This is the kind of move a championship team needs to make to dominate. If the Eagles are motivated, they should pull the trigger.
2 – Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville trades for Budda Baker, Cardinals would receive a 2024 fifth-round pick, and a 2025 third-round pick.
The Jaguars were the “feel-good” team in 2022. After beginning their season with a record of 3-7, they won six of their last seven games, winning the AFC South and going to the playoffs for the first time since 2017. Adding Baker isn’t a necessity. They already have Rayshawn Jenkins and Andre Cisco. But adding a top-tier player like Baker adds additional credibility to the Jags in the AFC South. Jacksonville is closing in on an AFC Championship. Baker elevates the defense to elite status and gets them closer to a shot at the Super Bowl.
3 – Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys trade for Budda Baker, Arizona in return receives 2024 2nd-round pick, 2025 4th-round pick.
Dallas seems to be creeping closer to winning the NFC East which means they are also getting close to a Super Bowl. After a record of 12-5 and 4-2 in the division, the Cowboys are loading up. After acquiring Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandin Cooks and cornerback Stephon Gilmore, Dallas is tight cap wise.
Jerry Jones knows his window may finally be opening. After remarkable success with Jimmy Johnson, Jones has failed miserably on his own. Currently, the Cowboys have Malik Hooker at free safety next to Donovan Wilson. Hooker was not an elite safety last season, and he does not have the wide-ranging game that Baker does. The Cardinals Pro Bowler can play both safety positions and in the slot at cornerback. Is this enough to get Jerry to go “all-in” on Baker? It could be and should be.
4 – New York Giants
Giants trade for Budda Baker; Arizona would receive a second day pick.
The G-Men are needing to build on their NFC Divisional Round appearance in 2023. They drafted an elite corner in Deonte Banks with their first-round pick, but still need to bolster the safety position after losing Julian Love. If the Giants can add a premier talent like Baker for a Day 2 pick, Arizona should be keen to accept.
New York was 9-7-1 in 2022 with a 4-2 record in the division. To add Baker would give them another piece to go to battle within the powerful NFC East. Dallas, Philadelphia, New York, and even the Washington Commanders are all trending up. The Giants are getting close. Baker gets them closer.
5 – Green Bay Packers
Packers trade for Budda Baker, the Cardinals in return receive Green Bay’s second and third-round picks in the 2024 NFL Draft.
The Packers were 8-9 last season and 3-3 in the NFC North. Quarterback Jordan Love now has a well-stocked group of wide receivers and tight ends heading into 2023. If the Packers defense can excel, it takes a ton of pressure off of Love. Green Bay needs to shore things up on the backend of their defense. This is where the Packers can get aggressive and bring in Baker.
— SportsGrid (@SportsGrid) April 14, 2023
The Cardinals stand to benefit from any deal that involves moving Baker. For a team on the rebuild, a deal with Green Bay could prove advantageous for both teams.