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Budda Baker named NFC Defensive Player of the Month

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals made Budda Baker the highest paid safety in the NFL this offseason.

All he has done so far in 2020 is show that they didn't pay him enough.

For October, Baker was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month.

From the team:

Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker has been named the “NFC Defensive Player of the Month” for his performance in October.

This is Baker’s first selection as “NFC Defensive Player of the Month.” Earlier in October, Baker was selected as the “NFC Defensive Player of the Week” for the first time in his career following Arizona’s Week 6 win at Dallas on Monday Night Football.

Baker finished the month of October with 31 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions (90 return yards), three tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, two passes defensed and a forced fumble in three games played – all Arizona victories. He played all three games with a cast on his thumb after having surgery which forced him to miss Arizona’s Week 4 game at Carolina.

With his performance in October, Baker became the first NFL player in the last seven seasons (2014-20) to record at least 30 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble in a single calendar month. Baker was the only player in the NFL with multiple sacks and multiple interceptions in October and his 31 tackles ranked second among all NFL defensive backs.

He had a game-high 14 tackles, his second interception of the season, a tackle for loss and a pass defensed in the win over Seattle on Sunday Night Football in Week 7. It was a fitting end to a remarkable six-day stretch on the national stage in which the All-Pro was named a team captain, totaled 21 tackles, two interceptions, one sack, two passes defensed, two tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, a forced fumble and won an “NFC Defensive Player of the Week” award.

Baker became the first Cardinals player since 2003 – and one of just two NFL players this season (Baltimore’s Marcus Peters) – to record a sack, an interception and a forced fumble in the same game when he did it against Dallas.

He is the first Cardinals “Defensive Player of the Month” since linebacker Chandler Jones won the award in December of 2019. Besides Baker, the Cardinals have had a Player of the Month 12 other times since the award began: Neil Lomax (Offensive-October, 1988), Boomer Esiason (Offensive-November, 1996), Kwamie Lassiter (Defensive-November, 2001), Neil Rackers (Special Teams-October & December, 2005), Patrick Peterson (Special Teams-November, 2011), Justin Bethel (Special Teams-December, 2014), Tyrann Mathieu (Defensive-November, 2015), David Johnson (Offensive-October, 2016), Chandler Jones (Defensive-December, 2017 & December 2019) and Zane Gonzalez (Special Teams, October, 2019).

In addition, the Cardinals have had an “NFC Player of the Week” the past three weeks: quarterback Kyler Murray won the award twice (Week 5 at the New York Jets & Week 7 vs. Seattle) in addition to Baker being selected after the Cardinals Week 6 win at Dallas.

Congratulations to Budda for an amazing start to the 2020 season.