Budda Baker contract talks with Cardinals unsettled, safety wants to be ‘paid fairly’

Jun 30, 2023, 7:49 AM

Budda Baker, Cardinals safety...

Arizona Cardinals S Budda Baker (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker said in May that he’ll be with his current team at minicamp and training camp regardless of his current contract situation.

The captain indeed showed up to the team’s practice facility for minicamp, though he remained off the field.

On Friday, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo relayed that Baker’s agent, David Mulugheta, said the safety is only asking to be “paid fairly for what he brings to the table.” They are making it clear in the dead of the offseason that this situation is not resolved.

“He doesn’t want to be the highest-paid safety, he never said that,” Garafolo added of what Mulugheta told him about Baker, who is entering the last year of his contract.

At present, Baker is the ninth highest-paid safety in the NFL. Los Angeles Chargers Derwin James leads the way at $19.1 million in annual average value, per Spotrac.

Baker sits at $14.8 million in annual average value.

When he signed an extension back in 2020, it made the two-time First Team All-Pro the highest-paid safety in the league.

Through Garafolo, Mulugheta said Baker told the Cardinals earlier in the offseason he wanted to play for a contender. That came out through reports as a trade request.

But Arizona still could be in Baker’s plans — so long as the franchise’s new front office led by Monti Ossenfort sees him as a key fixture in this rebuild. Ossenfort and first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon at least have maintained that stance publicly.

Baker’s agent told Garafolo that the Cardinals should extend the safety “if they believe he is a long-term part of his future plans.”

In any case, there is time before a Baker contract resolution is needed. Training camp begins for the Cardinals on July 25.

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