It is time for Budda Baker to get the respect and the recognition that he deserves as arguably the best safety in the NFL.
He put on a show last night on the national stage of Monday Night Football with seven tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and an interception in the 38-10 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
To make it even better, Baker also had two quarterback hits and a tackle for loss.
Baker was the highest-graded player last night by Pro Football Focus with a 92.6 overall grade with a 91.9 grade in coverage.
His latest performance is a testament to the talented player that he is as well as the culmination of all the hard work that he continues to pour into the game of football.
Take a look at his overall stats in his four years in the NFL. Through 51 career games, the two-time Pro Bowler has 344 tackles, 5.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, and an interception.
Baker is a versatile player that is normally all over the field that just does his job well without much national attention. Vance Joseph deserves a lot of credit last night by utilizing Baker’s incredible talent to the fullest as a blitzer as well as a speedy bullet off the line of scrimmage in stuffing the run and in coverage.
In every game he plays in, Baker continues to prove that he is worth every penny of that four-year $59 million contract extension that he signed in August.
Over the last couple months since Baker’s pay day, I have paid close to attention to all of his critics who think he is not deserving of his contract. These fans of the NFL have said he struggles in coverage. He is a safety doing a linebacker’s job. He can only tackle and is not playmaker that forces turnovers.
To this day, people continue to undervalue the impact that Budda Baker has on this Arizona Cardinals’ defense. He brings this fiery mentality and infectious energy to this football team that makes everyone around him play better.
For the critics out there that doubted his talent specifically his coverage skills, watch him play and watch him work.