Budda Baker, Cardinals Agree on Record 4-Year, $59M Contract Extension

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 25, 2020

Arizona Cardinals strong safety Budda Baker (32) lines up against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Arizona Cardinals will reportedly sign safety Budda Baker to a record-setting contract extension.

Baker will become the highest-paid player at his position after agreeing to a four-year, $59 million deal, per 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 in AZ, Baker Budda is: — The highest paid safety NFL history — $14.75M a year average. — $33.1M guaranteed. 💰💰💰 $33.1M guarantee https://t.co/tNVLZPBXZg

It's a big raise for Baker, whose rookie contract was worth under $7 million over four years, per Spotrac.

The 2017 second-round pick has been a star since his rookie year, earning first-team All-Pro honors in his first season. He continued to improve throughout the next two years, earning his second career Pro Bowl selection in 2019. He ranked fourth in the NFL with 147 tackles, adding seven tackles for loss and six passes defended.

Baker has also contributed 3.5 sacks and four forced fumbles during his three seasons.

Perhaps most importantly, he's showed incredible versatility, spending more than 100 snaps apiece at safety, outside linebacker and slot corner in 2019, according to Cynthia Frelund of NFL Network. He also spent time at inside linebacker, edge defender and outside cornerback.

Though the Cardinals defense was poor in 2019, allowing the most yards from scrimmage in the NFL, Baker has proved to be one of the more trustworthy options for this team.

Teaming him with Chandler Jones, Jordan Hicks and 2020 first-round pick Isaiah Simmons—all signed through at least 2021—gives Arizona some reliable building blocks on that side of the ball.