Heading into this year’s NFL offseason, the Arizona Cardinals knew that they would be without a few of the stars from last year’s team to start the season.
Kyler Murray is recovering from an ACL tear he suffered late in the season.
JJ Watt retired.
They are trying to trade Deandre Hopkins.
While that is already plenty to deal with for a rebuilding franchise that has also made big changes to the front office and coaching staff, it turns out there’s at least a chance that there will be another star missing when Week 1 rolls around.
Last night, PHNX Sports’ Bo Brack pointed out that star safety Budda Baker had removed “AZ” from his Twitter bio, which has sparked some speculation about him potentially being traded.
Budda Baker's Twitter bio then vs now.
AZ is now missing. pic.twitter.com/uxFvV1rz2J
— Bo Brack (@BoBrack) April 14, 2023
If the Arizona Cardinals are committing to a full rebuild in 2023, then trading Baker could make sense for them.
He is already 27 years old and carries a pretty hefty cap hit for the next couple of years. According to Sportrac, that cap hit will be almost $17 million in 2023 and would be nearly $18 million if the Cardinals exercise their team option on him for 2024.
The Cardinals are probably not competing for a playoff spot in 2023 with Kyler not expected to be ready at the start of the year, which means that they are looking at 1 year to try and compete with Baker on this current contract before they could lose him to free agency anyway.
Budda Baker has been great for the Cardinals. In the 6 years since they drafted him, he has made 5 Pro Bowls and 3 All-Pro teams. If they trade him, any team they trade him to would be getting a big boost on the defensive side of the ball.
It’s just a move that could make sense for the Arizona Cardinals if they can get some early draft capital to kickstart their rebuild and try to get themselves back into the playoff race in the next couple of years.