Budda Baker at Cardinals minicamp but ‘working through some things’
Jun 13, 2023, 2:34 PM | Updated: Jun 14, 2023, 5:04 pm
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
TEMPE — Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker was in fact back at the team’s training facility for the start of mandatory minicamp on Tuesday.
He just didn’t participate when his teammates took the field in what is being viewed as a move to avoid any potential fines from missing altogether while still showing where he stands in receiving a new contract.
“It was good to have him in the building today. He had a smile on his face,” head coach Jonathan Gannon said Tuesday. “He was asking a bunch of questions. I told them coaches, ‘You better be on your toes, because he’s going to ask you.’
“He’s not on the field — he’s working through some things. I’ve had really good conversations with him, the dialogue has been great and I’m ready to get No. 3 back out there.”
Gannon later specified the “some things” were business-related and that the organization is taking things day-by-day as it portends to the safety and his participation for minicamp.
The safety’s absence from the workout adds another chapter to the offseason saga between he and the team over a new deal.
The desire for a new extension has been brewing for some time, with reports coming out last month saying he asked for a new contract that would make him the highest-paid at the safety position or to be traded this past February.
A few cryptic social media posts have since followed, appearing to show further discontent from Baker.
But while there is some unknown surrounding his future in Arizona, his teammates appear unfazed by his absence on the practice field.
“I think that if there’s anybody you shouldn’t worry about on this defense not being here, it’s Budda Baker,” linebacker Dennis Gardeck said Tuesday. “I’m not concerned. He’s doing everything. Everything’s been voluntary up until now, so I know he’s been handling his business and he’s going to be ready.”
“We all know Budda’s a huge leader,” defensive back Isaiah Simmons added. “I don’t really know why he wasn’t out there today. That’s none of my business. … He’ll be out there in no time. I’m not worried about that part yet.”
As for who didn’t show up at all, the list is short, with Gannon noting that 100% of the roster was at the facility in some capacity.
That included both quarterback Kyler Murray and tight end Zach Ertz, who continue to rehab from their respective season-ending knee injuries.