Budda Baker: I’ll be there when it’s time to be there

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New Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon said earlier this week that safety Budda Baker will “show up when he wants to show up.” More accurately, Baker will show up when he HAS to show up.

Baker has not participated in the Cardinals’ offseason program after requesting a trade last month.

“Oh yeah, of course I’ll be there when it’s time to be there,” Baker told Cameron Cox of 12Sports in Baker’s first interview since his trade request. “When it’s time to be there, I’ll be there smiling and [be] the same regular guy that I am.”

Baker would face a fine of $16,459 for missing the first day of mandatory minicamp, $32,920 for missing a second day and $49,374 for the third.

He is owed $13.1 million this season and $14.2 million in 2024 from a four-year, $59 million extension he signed in 2020. It made him the highest-paid NFL safety at the time. But Baker has no guaranteed money left on his deal.

“For me personally, I’m just letting the business aspect handle the business aspect, letting my agent handle all that type of stuff,” Baker told Cox. “I’m continuing to have tunnel vision on my work ethic, being the best person I can be outside of football and just enjoying life. Enjoying this offseason, enjoying working hard each and every day, and just excited to go back and play football again.”

Baker has played his entire career in Arizona after the Cardinals made him a second-round pick in 2017. He earned Pro Bowl honors for the fifth time last season despite missing the final two games with a fractured shoulder.

Baker has spent the offseason training with Justin King at Built Better AZ.

“This whole offseason I’ve been focused on getting stronger and getting built better,” Baker told Cox. “I hate missing games. Being angry and being mad about not getting to play. That pissed me off. I want to never have a situation like that happen again.”

12 responses to “Budda Baker: I’ll be there when it’s time to be there

  1. Dude really wants to win. Won’t happen down here in the desert. Joke of a franchise.

  2. Trash organization. Williams and Maye should boycott them like Eli did the Chargers.

  3. The one guy who apparently wanted to be here is the assistant coach who got fired and is now suing the organization.

  4. ladyjet says:
    May 26, 2023 at 8:55 pm
    WOW. Does anyone want to be in AZ?


    Evidently, Gannon does.

  5. Baker will get to know the new coach, and he’ll be one of the best team leaders. It’s been a difficult ride for a competitive kid like Baker, but he’ll see that it’s a new day in Arizona. Just watch. You’ll see.

  6. There is no better man in the league than Budda Baker. I’m not talking player…I’m talking man. He’s a high performer on the field and a great human being off the field. He deserves so much better than what he’s getting in Arizona. Hopefully they find a trade partner or simply release him like they did Hopkins.

  7. If the Cards are lucky, Baker will show up on game day, out of shape, and he doesn’t know the playbook. No worries, Bidwill will still pay him big.

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