The Green Bay Packers are going into this season with a new starting quarterback in Jordan Love and a supporting offensive cast that is young and relatively inexperienced. That means other areas of the team may be asked to pick up any slack for a potentially inconsistent offense. Specifically, the defense will be called on to perform exceptionally well.
As things stand now, the stars have aligned to bring the Packers a high-end safety that would not only fill a gap on the team, but also give them an elite defensive backfield.
Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker is reportedly still standing firm on his demand for Arizona to either cut him a new deal, making him the highest paid safety in the league, or trade him. And, given that the Cardinals have become a basement-level team, with a 4-13 record last season, and a rebuild project under new management, Baker is not likely to get his pay raise.
A possible Packers-Cardinals trade for the 27-year-old Baker just makes so much sense for all parties that the idea keeps circulating.
With the addition of a still-prime Baker, the Packers secondary would be beyond stellar with Jaire Alexander, who is elite-level when healthy, the outstanding Rasul Douglas, and Eric Stokes, who looked very good in his rookie season. These names are in addition to free agent pickups Jonathan Owens and Tarvarius Moore. Adrian Amos, who will most likely be lost to free agency (despite some faint rumors to the contrary), would not be missed if Baker were brought into the fold.
Baker will be entering his seventh season in the NFL and is a five-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro. Per Pro Football Reference, he has registered 650 tackles over the course of his career, a number which includes 32 tackles for loss. Baker has also registered 34 pass breakups, 15 quarterback hits, 7.5 sacks, seven interceptions and six forced fumbles.
In terms of making him the highest paid safety in the league, Green Bay doesn’t have the cap space to do that, but they have enough money room to come close. And, given that Baker would be moving from a potentially last place team to a possible playoff contender, he may just be content with the change of scenery.
The Cardinals would not only get rid of a big chunk of change in trading Baker, but they’d get some rebuild-friendly draft picks.
The Packers, with this one move, could greatly fortify their chances of making the postseason in a season where there will be a lot of unanswered questions from day one.
Whether this idea is garnering any traction behind closed boardroom doors remains to be seen, but it sure does look like a win-win for everyone involved.