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Could this be Budda Baker’s last season as a Cardinal? Perennial Pro Bowler addresses his contract situation

This year is particularly important for Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker, as he enters the final year of his contract. Baker was looking for a long-term extension last offseason, but the two sides never got there.

In an attempt to pressure the Cardinals, Baker did not participate in offseason activities last year and eventually agreed to bonuses and incentives added to his original deal, leading him back to the team for training camp.ย 

As he looks for a long-term commitment from the team that drafted him, Baker does not plan on changing anything about how he prepares or plays.

Baker addresses that some players feel the need to do more in order to prove themselves in a contract year, but for Baker, it will be business as usual, because he said he is always playing with that attitude.

“A lot of people think about the money. Some players might think, ‘Contract year, I gotta do extra.’ I treat every single year like a contract year,” Baker said (via “For me, I love this game. I play it at a high level each and every week because of the work I put in each and every week. For me, I’m an honest believer in controlling what I can control and do my job. At the end of the day, everything else will take care of itself.”

Baker said he will do what he can do on the field and he will let his agent handle the rest, noting that he knows at the end of the day the NFL is a business.ย 

“That’s my main goal this year like it is every year,” Baker said. “Continue to do my job at a high level, continue to play high football, elite football and when the ball comes my way, get it out the sky. And when it doesn’t, run to the ball. … Everything else can take care of itself. I’ll let my agent handle all that other stuff.”

Looking ahead, he said his plan is to “continue to work hard, continue to get to know my players, get to know my rooks, get to know everybody and play football at a high level.”

“Most importantly, the name of the game is to win. We haven’t really done that much and that’s what I really want to do. I really want to win, I really want these fans to be happy and excited and to come to the games and have those packed-out houses.”ย 

The Cardinals are coming off back-to-back 4-13 seasons, which certainly is not much winning, as Baker mentioned. Since Baker came into the league in 2017, Arizona has just one playoff appearance, coming in 2019, which was also its only winning season in that time.ย 

Baker is a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro, and while he said it would be nice to continue to play for the team that drafted him, he could be looking for a new home next offseason.ย 

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Author: Shanna McCarriston
June 4, 2024 | 11:00 am

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