Can a Rookie Revamp the Cards’ Safety Lineup

Harry

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For several year the Cards have lacked a ballhawk at either of their safety slots. Both Baker & Thompson have failed to excel in pass coverage. Fortunately a safety capable of defending and intercepting passes fell to the Cards. Here’s a good overview. This also opens the question of whether both of the two current starting safeties will be on the 2025 roster.

 

QuebecCard

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I think this will be Budda Bakers last year with the Cards as he is on the last year of his contract. I doubt if they wil extend him plus he will get more money in the free agent market.

I doubt very much that Budda, at his age, can make more on the open market than what would be on offer if the Cards choose to pursue him.
 
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Harry

Harry

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Jalen Thompson had 4 INTs and 9 passes defensed last year with one of the worst pass rushes in the NFL and the least blitz support by far.

We don’t have a talent problem at safety; we have a resource management problem.
I think that stat is deceptive, though accurate. I recall at least 2 plays when he dropped routine interceptions. He did better in zone coverage last season than ever before but he still struggled in man coverage IMO. His career would not validate that as being a primary skill. I will be surprised if the new guy isn’t better if he gets the chance to show it and I believe he will. Still Thompson may be improving enough to be adequate in coverage. I don’t see the new guy as playing Baker’s role. Either Baker stays or Thompson moves to those defensive responsibilities.
 

kerouac9

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His career would not validate that as being a primary skill.
He had 3 INTs his first season as a starter.

We’re probably going to be a zone team on the back end. Nothing suggests that we’re going to play a ton of man from the safety position.

You don’t like our safety group; but manage that from a fact-based position. The problem is the pass rush and outside corners, not the safeties.
 

Zeem_Freeze

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Budda and Thompson are both + safeties in the NFL.... saying the strongest position group on our team needs to be solidified is certainly a take.
 

bankybruce

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I read after the draft that the hope is that Dadrion Taylor-Demerson can replace Baker next year. Baker will be turning 30 during the 1st year of his next deal and i doubt he will make less than his current deal. Thompson will be 26 when his current deal is up and is currently cheaper tha Baker.

It's a nice situation to be in if it works out.
 

dreamcastrocks

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I read after the draft that the hope is that Dadrion Taylor-Demerson can replace Baker next year. Baker will be turning 30 during the 1st year of his next deal and i doubt he will make less than his current deal. Thompson will be 26 when his current deal is up and is currently cheaper tha Baker.

It's a nice situation to be in if it works out.
I think he will.
 

dreamcastrocks

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Me too but the all pro isn’t going to come back and make less than Jalen Thompson
Not with us. I see Budda's overall value going down this year as well. It will be interesting to see.
 

oaken1

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I dunno.. budda has bank...maybe he wants to stick around and go to the dance with the ones who brought him.
I would be cool with something like 4 years for 45m
Give him like 15m year one, 12m year two, 10mil, then 8mil year 4
 

dreamcastrocks

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I dunno.. budda has bank...maybe he wants to stick around and go to the dance with the ones who brought him.
I would be cool with something like 4 years for 45m
Give him like 15m year one, 12m year two, 10mil, then 8mil year 4
I would be nice to see him give us a hometown discount. I would bet money that he won't though. He asked for a trade. You don't do that and give a home discount at the same time.
 

bankybruce

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I think he will.
What do you think he gets?

To me, even if he gives a discount, you still can't pay $10+ million a year to both safeties, and I feel Baker's number will be north of $10 million. Thompson is 3 years younger and as of right now, cheaper. If, and it's a big, Dadrion Taylor-Demerson pans out, you have to go with his rookie deal.
 

Solar7

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I read after the draft that the hope is that Dadrion Taylor-Demerson can replace Baker next year. Baker will be turning 30 during the 1st year of his next deal and i doubt he will make less than his current deal. Thompson will be 26 when his current deal is up and is currently cheaper tha Baker.

It's a nice situation to be in if it works out.
I don't anticipate us re-signing Baker unless his market price drops from what he thinks it will be, which I think is pretty likely. I think he'll make less than his current deal because the safety market is oversaturated.

Like, you can go sign Justin Simmons, Jamal Adams, or Quandre Diggs right now in the middle of summer, and that's just guys hovering around the age of 30, with Adams younger than Budda. We're talking All-Pro or Pro Bowlers, and that's not even mentioning Micah Hyde and others.

I just don't see him getting this incredible deal. If I were him, I might just settle for a reasonable deal and not having to move all of my stuff - assuming the Cardinals improve and have a window for a championship. If we poop the bed and get another top 5 pick, he'll probably exit.
 

BritCard

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I don't anticipate us re-signing Baker unless his market price drops from what he thinks it will be, which I think is pretty likely. I think he'll make less than his current deal because the safety market is oversaturated.

Like, you can go sign Justin Simmons, Jamal Adams, or Quandre Diggs right now in the middle of summer, and that's just guys hovering around the age of 30, with Adams younger than Budda. We're talking All-Pro or Pro Bowlers, and that's not even mentioning Micah Hyde and others.

I just don't see him getting this incredible deal. If I were him, I might just settle for a reasonable deal and not having to move all of my stuff - assuming the Cardinals improve and have a window for a championship. If we poop the bed and get another top 5 pick, he'll probably exit.

Yeah people are overvaluing what teams are willing to pay for a near 30 year old safety that peaked in 2021.

There are still 4 safeties unsigned that earned more than $13m per last year. There are 7 that earned $5m or more.

Of all the FA safeties signed this year only one got more than $10m and that was 24 year old Xavier McKinney. If Budda continues on his current arc there's no chance he breaks $10m.

At the same time I hate that he plays as the free safety. Budda Baker was made to play as a strong safety and it's a complete waste of his skill set to play him at FS where his lateral range, speed and ball skills are average at best.

My gut feeling is that he re-signs, because they love his leadership and character unless there is a chance for him to go somewhere with a chance at a ring. But I'm looking at the teams who lose safeties in FA next year and not seeing many options for him.
 

vince56

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Jalen Thompson had 4 INTs and 9 passes defensed last year with one of the worst pass rushes in the NFL and the least blitz support by far.

We don’t have a talent problem at safety; we have a resource management problem.
He's a really good player when not playing Brandon Aiyuk. Aiyuk just seems to have Jalen's number recently.
 

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I think this will be Budda Bakers last year with the Cards as he is on the last year of his contract. I doubt if they wil extend him plus he will get more money in the free agent market.
Good teams remain good teams by holding on to their good players, while they are still good players. Three safeties allow for some injury protection. JMO.
 
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Harry

Harry

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No offense Harry but when I think of "parts of the ARZ team that need to fixed" safety doesn't jump to mind.
But if the rook is the eventual successor to Jalen or Budda, that would be pretty awesome in and of itself. That would be a big win, sure.
I don’t disagree that the safety group has been stable and competent. However, it’s critical to allocate dollars where the impact is. Few teams try to carry two high priced safeties. I’m not certain a rookie will supplant one of these guys, but I’m confident the Cards will consider going that way.
 
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