Cardinals make Budda Baker NFL's highest-paid safety with 4-year, $59M extension

Sam Cooper
·2 mins read

The Arizona Cardinals are giving a significant contract extension to one of their young stars.

Yahoo Sports’ Terez Paylor confirmed Tuesday that the Cardinals and safety Budda Baker have agreed to terms on a four-year extension worth $59 million total, $33.1 million of which is guaranteed.

The deal, which was first reported by ESPN, makes the 24-year-old Baker the highest-paid safety in the NFL. It surpasses the four-year, $58.4 million extension Eddie Jackson signed with the Chicago Bears in January.

Baker is entering his fourth season with Arizona after the team selected him in the second round out of Washington in the 2017 draft. He earned a Pro Bowl nod for his work on special teams as a rookie and ended up starting seven games at safety that season as well, totaling 74 tackles. He started 13 games at strong safety in 2018, compiling 102 tackles in the process.

Baker moved to free safety in 2019 with new head coach Kliff Kingsbury and defensive coordinator Vance Joseph in the fold in Arizona. He thrived at that spot while also showing the versatility to line up all over the field. He earned his second Pro Bowl invitation while leading the NFL with 104 solo tackles. His 147 total tackles led all safeties.

Overall in his career, Baker has amassed 323 total tackles with 18 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 14 passes defended, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

Baker was entering the final year of his rookie contract, but now has a lucrative deal in place that should keep him with the Cardinals for years to come.

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