Why the Chicago Bears should make a deal for this shutdown safety

Budda Baker in action (2023).
Budda Baker in action (2023). / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Arizona Cardinals star safety Budda Baker requested a trade way back in April. Fast forward two months later, and there's no clear sign that any deal is on the horizon. Should Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles give the Cardinals a call?

Why the Chicago Bears should make a deal for this shutdown safety

It would be an on-brand move for the hungry and ambitious general manager. Poles, who is entering Year 2 as general manager, isn't afraid to wheel and deal.

He traded away the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to the Carolina Panthers, a team desperate for a franchise quarterback to build their team around. Poles capitalized on their desperation and utilized it as leverage, acquiring a King's ransom of draft picks and wide receiver D.J. Moore in the process.

Last season, he closed a midseason deal for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool, giving young quarterback Justin Fields yet another reliable target to sling the ball to.

Maybe Poles learned a thing or two shadowing Andy Reid in Kansas City.

Poles can flex his executive muscles once again by closing a trade for Baker.

The Cardinals have made their 2023 intentions clear through their actions. With franchise quarterback Kyler Murray still rehabbing a nasty ACL tear and star receiverDeAnde Hopkins being released by the team last month, the Cardinals are clearly in rebuild mode.

As new head coach Jonathan Gannon and general manager Monti Ossenfort settle into their new roles in the big chair, they'll be afforded a bit of patience from the Cardinals organization. While the Cardinals want to leave last season's 4-13 finish in the past, it's likely this season will be an uphill battle in a competitive NFC West.

Will Budda Baker want to be around for another off-year? He's spent six seasons with the Cardinals and has one playoff appearance to show for it, a first-round exit in 2021. After watching head coaches Bruce Arians, Steve Wilks, and Kliff Kingsbury come and go, Baker's patience for another rebuild is razor-thin. This is where the Bears come in.

Loaded with a stock of draft picks, the Bears are in a prime position to make a move for Baker. Of course, the five-time Pro Bowler wouldn't come cheap. But it's a move worth making for a Bears team ready to get out of hibernation and win.

Pairing starting safety Eddie Jackson with Baker would create a lethal combination for opposing quarterbacks. It would easily be one of the best safety duos in the league--right up there with the Buffalo Bills duo of Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer.

Baker, a strong safety that can patrol the box, complements Jackson's ballhawk ability very well. Their skillset would fit perfectly together.

Where does safety Jaquan Brisker fit in all this? The Bears could move the Penn State product to cornerback, a major hole in the roster as of right now. Moving Brisker to corner with Baker and Jackson as a dynamic duo at safety doesn't sound like a fun matchup for any quarterback.

The Bears have already added veteran players to bolster their defense this offseason, including linebackers T.J. Edwards and Tremaine Edmunds. Trading for Baker, an ideal fit in the Windy City, adds another veteran presence to one of the youngest teams in the league.

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Time will tell whether Baker ends up donning a Bears jersey. But if the Bears don't act soon, they might lose their chance at getting Baker.

Baker has also been linked to the Philadelphia Eagles and the Jacksonville Jaguars.