News I didn’t expect to hear today. The Arizona Cardinals have made safety Budda Baker the highest paid player at his position. No, that’s actually real news. The former 2nd round pick from the University of Washington just scored a 4-year deal worth $59 million. $33 million of which is guaranteed.
Adam Schefter of ESPN was the first to report the breaking news:
I gotta be honest, I don’t get this one. Sometimes Steve Keim does really smart things. Trading for DeAndre Hopkins was really smart. Releasing Tyrann Mathieu when you really weren’t paying him that much – IDIOTIC.
Baker, 24, has played in 46 career games. He has 323 tackles, 3.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and 14 pass deflections. Baker is a nice player. He can even play some nickel corner which is great. But c’mon here. Highest paid safety? That’s bananas. Budda Baker has ZERO career interceptions. ZERO. Baker had a PFF Grade (if that matters) of 71.4 which is average.
Not sure why you aren’t just paying Tyrann Mathieu, but whatever, that’s Steve Keim. The positive with Baker is he may be small (5-10, 195) he’s always been a willing tackler and has no problem getting his nose dirty in the box.
I do find this deal interesting for one reason. The Cardinals wanted to get this deal done before Seattle has to pay Jamal Adams. The price is rising for Jamal Adams and Arizona knows it. There had to be a little of that involved in this deal knowing they wanted to keep Baker but get the deal done before Seattle got one with Adams. Chess at its finest.