After an offseason of trade rumors due to contract rumblings, Baker is at camp, participating, blocking out the outside noise and simply believing in his future with the Cardinals…at least for now.
With NFL teams ready to pounce on a potential trade if the contract back-and-forth didn’t result in positive results, the three-time All Pro remained professional and put his focus being the best possible player he could be.
Arizona Cardinals star Budda Baker let business take care of business
In letting his agent take care of business and making sure his health was 100 percent, Budda Baker put his faith in the process.
"“From my perspective, for me personally, I’ve just been tunnel vision,” Baker told reporters on Friday. “When I fractured my shoulder after Tampa Bay, Christmas game, I was just enough right to play in the Pro Bowl but I just wanted to get back in the weight room and get my shoulder as strong as possible, get my body as strong as possible.“For me, I’ve just been grinding and letting the outside noise be the outside noise. Kind of laughing at it here and there, getting some smiles, getting some laughs out of it, but just understanding that if I put my head down and grind, everything else will take care of itself.”"
That contract situation did pan out for Budda Baker and now he can simply focus on football with a smile on his face. He also has to deal with a new coaching staff and a change of culture in Arizona that he wants to be a part of.
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With less expectations in the dessert, Baker and the Cardinals are out to turn things around in 2023. With the star safety back on board and “all in”, there is excitement around the direction the team is going. Obviously, winning will make that foundation stronger, but so far a fresh start, a new beginning and (more money) is sparking a renewed attitude in Arizona.
"“I’m all in,” Baker added. “This is early in the process, we’re in training camp. For me, it’s all kind of outside noise. I don’t really pay attention to none of the projections and all those things, because at the end of the day, that’s people’s opinions. They’re not in the building, they’re not working with us every single day. They don’t know. That’s their opinion and I’m OK with that…I see the disrespect and that’s OK.”"
Is that disrespect motivation for Budda Baker and the Cardinals in 2023? As far as fueling a winning atmosphere, having a star player’s buy in hypes up the energy of the team and lead that team to exceeding expectations.
Baker appears rejuvenated to make that happen.