The Arizona Cardinals are in a tight spot after being investigated by the NFL for misconduct and harassment. Adding to the woes their star safety, Budda Baker, has submitted a trade request.
The Cardinals’ former executive Terry McDonough filed an arbitration claim against the organization, and they were scored second-lowest in the NFLPA survey. For most of the offseason, they had to confront the negative media attention and try to fend it off.
To pour water on a drowning mouse, Budda’s decision nudged them into a more complicated situation.
Why did Budda Baker want to leave?
The 27-year-old has submitted the trade request out of the blue, and the franchise has been left stunned at this new development. Though no concrete reason for his decision has been revealed yet, the rumors suggest his desire to be the highest-earning safety in the league might have driven him.
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
The five-time pro bowler tried to initiate a negotiation to get a handsome raise that would make him the top-earning safety in the league. His current contract, which was signed in 2020, pays him $14.74 million per year. At that time, his extension made him the highest-paid safety in NFL history at the time.
The Cardinals star had already spent two years of his four-year deal and now wanted to regain the peak of the mountain, which is currently held by the Los Angeles Chargers’ Derwin James. Darwin is earning $19 million per year upon his new extension in February this year.
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Baker joined the franchise after being picked in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft. Before that, he played for the Washington Huskies football team for three years at the college level.
In six years of a professional career, the safety made 468 solo tackles and 7.5 sacks with 34 passes defended and 7 interceptions. His stellar performance propelled him to make the First Team All-Pro twice.
Where might Budda Baker land in the off season? Can he become the highest-paid safety again? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.