Arizona Cardinals five-time Pro Bowl safety Budda Baker has requested a trade, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday.
Baker informed the Cardinals in February that he wanted to be traded or receive a new deal to make him the highest-paid safety, the source said.
Baker is owed $13.1 million this season and $14.2 million in 2024 from a four-year, $59 million extension he signed in 2020 that made him the highest-paid NFL safety at the time.
Baker has played all six of his NFL seasons with the Cardinals after being drafted by them in the second round in 2017, leading the team with 111 tackles last season and intercepting two passes.
Baker is a two-time All-Pro who has established himself as the heart and soul of the Cardinals’ defense because of how he plays with a reckless abandon.
He finished last season on injured reserve after fracturing his shoulder in a Week 16 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in which he continued to play after suffering the injury.
Baker’s trade request is the latest headline for a franchise that can’t seem to avoid the news this offseason.
Between being the last team to hire a new head coach, which happened when Jonathan Gannon was brought on board after the Super Bowl, to receiving the second-lowest marks in the NFLPA player survey to allegations of gross misconduct, including cheating, discrimination and harassment in an arbitration claim filed by former Cardinals executive Terry McDonough to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, the Cardinals have had a busy offseason.
That’s on top of the chatter that the team will move on from wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in some fashion. Hopkins has been granted the ability to seek a trade with another team, according to reports. His cap hit of $30.75 million is the highest on the roster next season, leading to rampant speculation that Arizona may find a way to reduce that number by either trading or releasing Hopkins.
If Arizona does trade both Hopkins and Baker in the same offseason, it will be losing two of the stars and stalwarts on either side of the ball.
ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss contributed to this report.