Baker joined the NFL as a second-round pick of the Cardinals in 2017. Since then, Baker has appeared in 93 games for Arizona, staring 83 of them. He has racked up 650 tackles, 34 passes defended, seven interceptions and six forced fumbles. Baker is a five-time Pro Bowler and a two-time All-Pro.
The safety is set to make over $13 million this season. However, Baker wants to be the highest paid player at his position. With the Cardinals coming off of a brutal 4-13 campaign, they may be unwilling to dole out such a large commitment; even if Baker is worth it.
With his trade request from Arizona now public, teams around the league will now gauge how much it would cost to acquire Baker. If/when the safety is traded, these three teams make the most sense as potential landing spots.
The Philadelphia Eagles are coming off of a run to the Super Bowl. They have the roster repeat as NFC Champions. However, the Eagles are missing two key pieces from their Super Bowl roster.
Philly lost Marcus Epps to the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason while C.J. Gardner-Johnson signed with the Detroit Lions. The Eagles did sign former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds, but it’s clear that Philadelphia still has some work to do in the secondary. Adding Baker next to Edmunds would give the Eagles a much more impressive last line of defense.
The Eagles were one of the best teams in the league this past season. They ranked second overall in total defense, allowing 301.5 yards per game. While they lost Epps and Gardner-Johnson, trading for Baker would ensure the Eagles maintain their defensive domination.
Much like the Eagles, the Cincinnati Bengals are down two starting safeties. While Joe Burrow can carry the offense, Cincy will need a strong defense to succeed. Baker would be a massive upgrade for the Bengals at a sudden position of need.
Vonn Bell signed with the Carolina Panthers this offseason while Jessie Bates landed with the Atlanta Falcons. While the Bengals signed Nick Scott – who most recently played for the Los Angeles Rams – it simply won’t be enough. A player like Budda Baker gives Cincinnati another star in their secondary.
Even with Bates and Bell, the Bengals’ pass defense was one of their weak spots. Cincinnati ranked 23rd in the NFL, allowing 229.1 yards through the air per game. Trading for Baker would clog up that defensive hole while being a proper replacement for Bell and Bates.
While the other two teams on this list are in desperate need of a safety, Budda Baker would represent more of a luxury addition for the Miami Dolphins. However, after proving their willingness to trade in recent years, Baker could be the Dolphins next target.
Miami traded for wide receiver Tyreek Hill and outside linebacker Bradley Chubb prior to the 2022 season. They most recently landed Jalen Ramsey in a trade with the Rams. The Dolphins are gearing up for a serious postseason push. Adding Baker only amplifies how serious Miami is about competing for a Super Bowl.
Their trade for Ramsey gave the Dolphins one of the better cornerback duos in the NFL. Ramsey and Xavien Howard should strike fear in all of their opponents. With Budda Baker backing them up in the secondary, the Dolphins could have one of the scariest defenses in the entire league.
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