June 19, 2024

Packers News: Rich Bisaccia named assistant head coach, staff announced -  Acme Packing CompanyOver the previous two offseasons, the Green Bay Packers haven’t hesitated to make blockbuster moves; yet, they frequently surrendered the big name in exchange for draft picks.

When free agency opens in March, Green Bay may choose to go the other way and pursue a well-known player on a high-profile contract, albeit one that might not tie the team to a pre-negotiated agreement past 2024.

On Monday, January 29, the Scouting Department of Bleacher Report unveiled the Packers’ offseason trade guide, recommending that the Arizona Cardinals’ Budda Baker, a safety, be Green Bay’s top target.

The scouts stated, “Green Bay could lose safeties Jonathan Owens, Christian Uphoff, and Darnell Savage in free agency this year.” “Reloading the secondary fast might be aided by negotiating for Arizona safety Budda Baker, who is about to reach the final year of his contract.”

Baker is a superior safety. In the context of speculative trade offers and free-agency forecasts, that word is sometimes misused, but in Baker’s case, it is the only suitable adjective.

The safety was drafted by Arizona in 2017, and as a rookie, he was immediately named to the first team of the NFL. In seven NFL seasons, Baker has been selected to three All-Pro teams and has been considered for the Pro Bowl in six of those seasons.

In August 2020, Baker agreed to a four-year, $59 million contract with the Cardinals. Prior to the 2023 season, he made an unsuccessful attempt to renegotiate his contract, asking Arizona to either give him the highest salary of any safety in the league or move him. The group chose not to, and Baker went on to play 12 games for the Cardinals and earn a trip to the Pro Bowl once more.

Despite just having one season left on his contract, Baker is subject to a $19 million salary cap charge, which presents a significant challenge for a team like Green Bay. As of Monday, the organization’s expected cap space was just $4.8 million.

Therefore, it makes more sense for the Packers to acquire Baker through trade and then extend his deal, which would let both parties to modify his terms and immediately reduce his cap hit. It would also take care of a potential weakness on defense going future, which will be the team’s main priority this offseason as they look to replace fired coordinator Joe Barry with a new coordinator.

Despite a decline in 2023 in both his advanced analytics and traditional counting statistics, Baker, who is only 28 years old, remains an exceptional playmaker with ample time on his hands. Additionally, throughout his career, he has only missed 10 of a possible 115 regular-season games, which is encouraging for his

It most likely wouldn’t be a smart business move for Green Bay to make Baker the most paid safety in football. However, if the new DC thinks Baker fits, increasing his salary to roughly $15 or $16 million a year over the course of three or four seasons may make sense.

By incorporating a sizeable signing bonus into the deal, the organization can lessen Baker’s initial cap hit. However, they will still need to free up $21 in cap space if they decide to cut or trade left tackle David Bakhtiari this summer, which is almost a given given his recent injury issues and a $40 million cap hit in 2024.

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