NFL Rumors: Cardinals Budda Baker requests to be traded. Will LA Rams inquire?

Budda Baker
Budda Baker / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

If the LA Rams have a chance to land a young but incredibly talented veteran free safety, do they take the plunge?

Yes, the LA Rams secondary is desperate for help. Well, the LA Rams may have an option to get a serious upgrade if they follow up on the latest rumors over Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker. Per ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the 2-time All Pro, 5-time Pro Bowl defensive back for the Cardinals has requested that the Cardinals trade him.

Defensive back Budda Baker has played exclusively for the Arizona Cardinals since he was drafted out of the University of Washington with the 36th overall pick (coincidentally, the same pick that the LA Rams hold in the 2023 NFL Draft). Since that time he has delivered solid secondary play. Better yet, he has been quite dependable, suiting up for 93 of his 98 possible NFL games, and starting in 83 of those contests.

Baker, ironically, used to play for LA Rams current Assistant Head Coach Jimmy Lake when Lake was the defensive backs coach / defensive coordinator for the Washington Huskies. Baker was one of the stars from that secondary, and carried over that fierce defensive mindset into the NFL, enabling him to star as a safety for the Cardinals.

The LA Rams do not typically value the safety position, but would they make an exception for a player who is as talented as Budda Baker? Baker is currently under contract through 2024, and at 27 years of age that would push him into the NFL Free agency market just as he turns the corner at 30 years old.

If there is any interest in adding Baker to the Rams roster, the team will most certainly need to free up a lot of cap space to do so, something that the team has been quite unwilling to do so far due to the cap implications for 2024.

But the LA Rams could kill two birds with one stone. If the Cardinals are interested in WR Allen Robinson, the Rams could offer a package deal to the Cardinals along the order of:

In this trade scenario, the options for conditions for the 2025 third round pick could be linked to Baker's performance, Robinson's playing time/production, or other factors. In short, the Rams may or may not be interested in stockpiling their secondary so quickly.

But I'm willing to bet that Budda Baker would love to play for his former college coach, and a chance to compete twice against his former team. Is the price to acquire Baker too low or two high? The only opinions that count are that of the LA Rams and the Arizona Cardinals.

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I don't think that the Rams bite this time around. The Rams have proven to be quite content to load up on rookies and roll the dice. However, I cannot rule out the intrigue of the Rams to call the Cardinals about Budda Baker completely. After all, it's such a Rams move to make a trade like this completely from left field.