Budda Baker ‘all in’ with Cardinals after offseason filled with outside noise
Jul 28, 2023, 8:27 PM
(Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
GLENDALE — On Day 1 of Arizona Cardinals training camp, safety Budda Baker appeared.
On Day 2, reports surfaced that he got a raise.
And on Day 3, he spoke.
After an offseason filled with contract chatter and unknowns surrounding his future in the desert, the storyline surrounding Cardinals safety Budda Baker and his unhappiness with his now-previous deal (that included a trade request) has seemingly been erased from time three days into camp.
For Baker, it was all about staying even keel throughout the process and believing it would all work out. Listening to some of the outside noise also provided some comic relief for the three-time All Pro.
“From my perspective, for me personally, I’ve just been tunnel vision,” Baker, who let his agent handle all the contract discussions, said Friday. “When I fractured my shoulder after Tampa Bay, Christmas game, I was just enough right to play in the Pro Bowl but I just wanted to get back in the weight room and get my shoulder as strong as possible, get my body as strong as possible.
“For me, I’ve just been grinding and letting the outside noise be the outside noise. Kind of laughing at it here and there, getting some smiles, getting some laughs out of it, but just understanding that if I put my head down and grind, everything else will take of itself. That’s what I’ve been doing and I feel great.”
#AZCardinals S Budda Baker said he had tunnel vision this offseason while contract talks were ongoing with the team.
“If I put my head down and grind, everything will take care of itself.”
— Arizona Sports (@AZSports) July 28, 2023
Now with the contract back-and-forth in the rearview mirror, Baker can get back to focusing solely on football, something that undoubtedly brings a smile to his face.
This time around, though, Baker will embark on the new season with his fourth coaching staff in seven years and likely heading toward a low-win total as Arizona continues build its foundation from the ground up.
“I definitely believe this coaching staff and of course (general manager Monti Ossenfort) are developing a great culture here,” Baker said. “I’m very excited for the things that they’re doing and the things that they coach and the things that they preach throughout every single day. It’s definitely a blessing to get that.
“I’m all in,” the safety added.” This is early in the process, we’re in training camp. For me, it’s all kind of outside noise. I don’t really pay attention to none of the projections and all those things, because at the end of the day, that’s people’s opinions. They’re not in the building, they’re not working with us every single day. They don’t know. That’s their opinion and I’m OK with that. … I see the disrespect and that’s OK.”