The Green Bay Packers are waiting on one trade to go through, but they could be candidates for a second major trade this offseason. The Packers’ trade talks with the New York Jets over Aaron Rodgers seem to be at a stalemate. But more position needs are pressing for the team, and they were recently linked to Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker as a place for the All-Pro to land. Baker requested a trade from the Cardinals on Friday.
The Green Bay Packers need a safety
The Packers’ needs in the secondary are great heading into the draft season. The team has not re-signed veteran Adrian Amos. The Packers released 2020 draft pick Vernon Scott Friday. The Packers need to find some depth in the secondary via the draft, but the team could benefit from a star veteran’s presence.
Julia Stumbaugh with Bleacher Report wrote a piece on the top landing spots for Baker. Stumbaugh thinks Bakers’ best options to go into in a trade are the Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Green Bay Packers. They believe the Packers’ best option, if they can’t sign Amos, would be Baker:
“There are significant roster uncertainties plaguing the Packers. All eyes are on Aaron Rodgers, who wants to be a New York Jet but has not yet been traded. In addition to that question, there is the conundrum of whether Green Bay will re-sign free agent Adrian Amos.
Amos has started every game for the Packers over the last four seasons and set a career high with 102 tackles in 2022. Green Bay will not be able to replace that kind of reliability with its in-house options. If Amos walks, it could find a starter in the draft—or consider Baker.”
Would the Packers trade for Baker?
Packers analysts and fans were quick to jump on the Baker bandwagon Friday afternoon. With his skillset, there’s no wonder the Packers would be a better defense with him on the field. Baker is an All-Pro safety, and he’s been nominated to the Pro Bowl five times.
But his services aren’t cheap. According to the ESPN report Friday, Baker is asking for one thing the Packers don’t have much of this offseason:
“Baker informed the Cardinals in February that he wanted to be traded or receive a new deal to make him the highest-paid safety, the source said.
Baker is owed $13.1 million this season and $14.2 million in 2024 from a four-year, $59 million extension he signed in 2020 that made him the highest-paid NFL safety at the time.”
The Packers would have to spread out his contract for several seasons in order to afford Baker. That’s a pricey option at a non-premium position when the Packers still need help at their pass-rushing positions to help out their secondary. And it’s a lot of money in general for a team in rebuild mode.
One reason why a long-term extension for Baker wouldn’t be a bad thing, he’s a young veteran. Baker turned 27 in January and would be a vital part of the Packers’ defense for years to come.
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