The Arizona Cardinals have reportedly signed safety Budda Baker for a record contract extension.
Baker will become the highest-paid player in his role after agreeing to a four-year, $ 59 million deal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Baker’s agent David Mulugheta confirmed the deal to Schefter.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport provided additional details:
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
For the bright young star of AZ, Baker Budda is: – The highest paid safety record in the NFL – $ 14.75 million per year on average. – $ 33.1 million guaranteed. 💰💰💰 $ 33.1 M guarantee https://t.co/tNVLZPBXZg
That’s a big increase for Baker, whose rookie contract was worth less than $ 7 million over four years, by Spotrac.
The 2017 second-round pick has been a star since his first year, winning first-team All-Pro honors in his debut season. He continued to improve over the next two years, winning his second career Pro Bowl selection in 2019. He placed fourth in the NFL with 147 tackles, adding seven tackles for loss and six assists defended.
Baker also contributed 3.5 sacks and four forced fumbles over his three seasons.
Perhaps more importantly, he’s shown incredible versatility, spending more than 100 snaps each safely, outside of the linebacker and slots corner in 2019, according to NFL Network’s Cynthia Frelund. He also spent time with the inside linebacker, edge defenseman and outside cornerback.
While the Cardinals’ defense has been poor in 2019, allowing for the most scrum yards in the NFL, Baker has proven to be one of the most trusted options for this team.
Teaming up with Chandler Jones, Jordan Hicks and 2020 first-round pick Isaiah Simmons – all signed at least 2021 – gives Arizona some reliable building blocks on this side of the ball.