Jacksonville Jaguars may not be the ideal Budda Baker landing spot

Budda Baker New England Patriots v Arizona Cardinals
Budda Baker New England Patriots v Arizona Cardinals / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Safety Budda Baker has been a mainstay of the Arizona Cardinals' defense and one of their best players regardless of the position over the last few years. However, he thinks he's not being fairly compensated and wants to be the highest-paid safety in the league or be traded. One team that shouldn't be interested in him if he's indeed made available is the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports Baker that wants to either receive a new deal or be traded to a team that will give it to him. The five-time Pro Bowl nod is set to count $13.1 million against the cap in 2023 and $14.2 next year. Back in 2020, he signed a contract that made him the highest-paid safety in the NFL but players such as Minkah Fitzpatrick and Derwin James have struck bigger deals since then.

A second-round pick in the 2017 draft, Baker has spent his whole pro career with the Cards. He's appeared in 96 games with 84 starts and registered seven interceptions, six forced fumbles and 34 passes defensed over the last six years. On top of that, he's been named First-Team All-Pro twice.

The Cards are currently undergoing a rebuild under first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon and general manager Monti Ossenfort. Since they inherited Baker, they might not feel strongly about keeping him around and could trade him in exchange for picks to acquire the kind of players that fit the team's new vision.

On the other hand, Baker is a game-changer and the kind of player that keeps offensive coordinators awake thinking of ways to take away his impact. This is why the Cards front office might want to reach a suitable solution that benefits both parties.

The Jacksonville Jaguars shouldn't place a bid on S Budda Baker

Budda Baker will be in high demand if Arizona places him on the trade block and fellow safety Tony Jefferson II thinks Jacksonville, along with the Denver Broncos, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Green Bay Pacers and the New England Patriots, would be a good fit.

The Jags would certainly love to have a player of Baker's caliber but they're already set at safety. Andre Cisco is an ascending star and Rayshawn Jenkins had a huge role in a pair of close wins. The coaching staff could find a way to incorporate Bake, Cisco, and Jenkins on the field at the same time but you can't keep all three throughout the duration of the game.

There's also the question of Baker's potential compensation. Players are worth what a team is willing to pay him and he should definitely ask for a top-market contract if he thinks the Cards or any other club will fork out the cash for his services. The issue is that the Jaguars are currently facing a cap crunch and don't have enough space to fit Baker into the budget.

As it is, the Jaguars already restructured several contracts (including Jenkins') to be in good cap shape. Bringing in Baker would undo all those moves Jacksonville has made over the last couple months.

The bottom line is that Baker is a game-changer and deserves to be among the highest-paid safeties. However, the Jaguars don't have the cap space to bring him aboard. Then again, that's not necessarily a bad thing when you take into account that they already have a couple of talented safeties in Cisco and Jenkins.

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