Budda Baker reportedly wants out of the Arizona Cardinals.
Baker delivered a warning of sorts that something like this was coming, as it was noticed Thursday that he had removed "AZ" from his Twitter bio. Sometimes, such changes are harmless, and sometimes they lead to this.
Budda Baker's Twitter bio then vs now.
AZ is now missing. pic.twitter.com/uxFvV1rz2J
— Bo Brack (@BoBrack) April 14, 2023
Baker responded with a cryptic tweet featuring a Michael Jordan gif from "The Last Dance."
Per Schefter, Baker informed the Cardinals in February he wanted to either be traded or to receive a new deal that would make him the highest-paid safety in the NFL.
The current highest-paid safety, per OverTheCap, is Los Angeles Chargers star Derwin James, whose record four-year, $76.4 million extension signed last offseason pays him an average of $19 million per year. Baker is currently under contract for two more seasons, with a $16.9 million cap hit next season and an $18 million hit in 2024-25.
Baker has played six seasons for the Cardinals since the team selected him in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He has been a key player for Arizona since his rookie year, earning five Pro Bowl appearances and two first-team All-Pro nods.
Last season, Baker had a team-high 111 combined tackles, plus seven pass defenses and two interceptions in 15 games. He missed the end of the season with a fractured shoulder.
While Baker has been a bright spot for Arizona, his tenure has seen a constant churn of dysfunction for the Cardinals, with one winning season out of six, no playoff wins and three different head coaches. He was on track for a fourth head coach following the firing of Kliff Kingsbury and hiring of Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon.