Cardinals safety Budda Baker made it clear this offseason that he was not happy with his contract. He asked for a trade and skipped volunteering with the team.
However, Baker reported to training camp and practiced on the first day, one day before receiving $2.4 million in bonuses and incentives for the 2023 season and a new $300,000 signing bonus. He said on Friday that he is “all in”.
“I let the outside noise be the outside noise, kinda laughable about it here and there,” Baker said of his odd offseason, via Darren Urban of the team website. “Getting some smiles, getting some laughs out of it, but understanding if I put my head down and laugh, everything else will take care of itself.”
Baker said he had “tunnel vision” while letting his agent work out his contract details this offseason.
He is still scheduled for free agency in 2025.
Baker said he “of course” wants to stay with the Cardinals long term.
“I love Arizona and I love Arizona fans,” Baker said.
Despite five Pro Bowls, Baker understands this is a year-to-year business. What have you done for me recently?
“If I don’t play up to par, you’re not going to play in this league,” said Baker, who missed two games last season with a broken shoulder. “Understanding it and knowing it is something, that’s why I put my head down. I understand this is a business. Yes, I’ve been drafted here, and yes, I’m blessed to be in Arizona, but if I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to do, I wouldn’t be playing.”