Arizona Cardinals, S Budda Baker agree to contract extension

Aug 25, 2020, 7:22 AM | Updated: 2:29 pm

Strong safety Budda Baker #32 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates after a defensive stop against th...

Strong safety Budda Baker #32 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates after a defensive stop against the Seattle Seahawks during the game at CenturyLink Field on December 22, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals have agreed make Budda Baker the highest-paid safety in the NFL with a four-year, $59 million extension, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

That contract works out to an average of $14.75 million per year. Rapoport added that $33.1 million is guaranteed.

The team announced the sides had agreed to a contract extension but a press release did not disclose dollar amounts. The contract will take Baker through the 2024 season, meaning it will not replace the final year of his existing deal.

The Bears’ Eddie Jackson was previously the league’s highest-paid safety, followed by three players who average $14 million per season: Tennessee’s Kevin Byard, Washington’s Landon Collins and former Cardinal and now Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu.

Baker was entering his fourth and final year of the rookie deal he got when he was drafted by the Cardinals in the second round (36th overall) in 2017. The Washington alum has since gone on to two Pro Bowls and one All-Pro selection, making him one of the most promising up-and-coming safeties in the league. Last season, his 104 solo tackles led the NFL.

In 2019, the 24-year-old had 147 combined tackles with six passes defensed, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and half a sack. He has yet to make an interception in his career.

This extension also gives Baker a higher average annual salary than that of all but one player on the Cardinals, trailing only Chandler Jones’ $16 million annual salary. Offensive tackle D.J. Humphries is close behind at $14.4 million. It’s worth noting, though, that wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, running back Kenyan Drake and cornerback Patrick Peterson are all entering contract years, and DeAndre Hopkins could be in for a reworked contract.

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