On Friday, two-time First Team All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler Budda Baker requested a trade from the Arizona Cardinals. Baker requested the trade after Arizona refused to offer him a contract that would make him the highest paid safety in the league.
With seemingly a chapter closing for Baker, he will have plenty of suitors that would meet his requests. As the NFL Draft approaches, teams may be willing to move some of their capital for a caliber player such as Baker.
Here are some destinations that make the most sense for the All-Pro safety.
New York Giants
The Giants would be in desperate need for a player like Baker. They already have a promising young safety in Xavier McKinney. Pairing them together would do wonders for a Giants secondary that needs improvement.
Chicago has a plethora of cap space to eat Baker’s contract, as he is owed $13.096M in 2023 and $14.2M in 2024. The Bears have done a good job improving their overall roster this offseason. They signed LBs Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards alongside some role pieces on offense.
Their secondary already consists of veteran Eddie Jackson, as well as some younger players in Jaylon Johnson, Jaquan Brisker, and Kyler Gordon. However, adding Baker would be a tremendous improvement that would make the Bears interesting contenders for the NFC North crown.
After losing Jessie Bates III in free agency, slotting Budda Baker in would be a dream for the Bengals. Another defensive playmaker and mentor to some of the younger players in the secondary, Baker keeps the Super Bowl hopes alive for Cincinnati. This would be a dangerous pairing, as they are the most ready to win team out of these top destinations.
This would be another dynamic pairing. The Jaguars, who will seemingly own the AFC South for the years to come, would become instant mainstays with Budda Baker. The Jaguars do not really have any notable secondary players. Baker provides so much for them, and would be a valuable asset to acquire instead of drafting a secondary player with their No. 24 overall selection.
Of course, trading for Baker is half the battle. Teams are going to have to pay him what he wants. He is certainly worthy of being the highest-paid safety, but money conversations are no fun in the NFL. It will not be shocking if Baker gets moved before the NFL Draft, so fans will see him in a new uniform shortly.
Honorable Mentions: New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles
For more from the author Roman Bruno, check him out on Twitter here: @romanbruno14
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