Packers Trade Rumors: 5-Time Pro Bowler Fills ‘Clear & Obvious Need’

Budda Baker, Pro Bowl safety and potential NFL trade target

Getty Budda Baker, Pro Bowl safety and potential NFL trade target

With the record having turned thanks to back-to-back losses, to the Lions and Raiders, the proliferation of Packers trade rumors has diminished. But there are still reasons to think—hope, perhaps—that Green Bay will be active when the NFL trade deadline comes around on October 31.

Some of the early-season dream trade targets (Davante Adams, Jonathan Taylor) have been filed away under, “wishful thinking.” However, the Packers could still get involved with players who upgrade positions of need and do so while fitting into the team’s general age range.

One player who has attracted interest across the league and would be an especially nice fit in Green Bay: Cardinals safety Budda Baker, a five-time Pro Bowler who is currently looking to return from a stint on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

As analyst Peter Bukowski of the “Locked on Packers” podcast noted, “Budda Baker would be a player for me I would be more interested in. It’s a clear and obvious need, they don’t have any investment there at all, and would make this team better.”

Packers Are Too Thin at Safety

Baker would certainly address some serious needs. When it comes to Packers trade rumors, wide receivers get more attention, but safety is probably where Green Bay need the most help.

Rudy Ford has done well to hold down the safety position, but he is more of a coverage guy than a pressure/run-stopper, and the depth is lacking. The Green Bay defense needs plenty of help in stopping the run, and is currently ranked 27th with 717 rush yards allowed.

Baker is one of the best NFL defensive backs in playing up and stopping ball carriers. Pro Football Focus called it, “his greatest asset.”

“He would be one of those guys you wouldn’t mind paying while you have Jordan Love on the cheap,” Bukowski pointed out. “I know they don’t have a lot of money and that’s one of the reasons this is all complicated right now, but they could get someone like Budda Baker, you redo the contract, super-low cap hit this year. You can extend it next year when Aaron Rodgers comes off the books, you potentially have David Bakhtiari off the books.”

Budda Baker Might not Figure Into Packers Trade Rumors

The big issue with Packers trade rumors involving Baker, though, is the Cardinals. In the offseason, Baker lodged a trade request with the team and there was talk he would be on the market. But once Arizona reworked Baker’s contract, such chatter died down and the Cardinals are said to be looking to keep Baker long-term.

That could be a bluff, though, especially as the Cardinals struggle. Many in Arizona now have an eye on their NFL draft position. As much as they like Baker, if dealing him away could help the Cards ensure they have a top draft pick in April, they could be more willing to take offers on him.

The Packers could—and should—be right there if they do. Baker would be a good fit on a lot of levels.

“There’s an opportunity for them to spend some money next year but it has to be for a player who is on the same timeline as this team. They are still figuring this out,” Bukowski said. “The plan has to fit the team. For this team, that means finding guys, if you’re gonna go out and make a move, it has to be for the kind of player that fits where you are going to be next year.”

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