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Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker wants some respect on his name

Baker is one of the best safeties in the NFL and beloved by fans in Arizona, but he's looking to get more respect nationally this season.
Credit: AP
Arizona Cardinals' Budda Baker (3) celebrates after an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. The Cardinals won 25-22. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker is now the guy on the Arizona defense. Everything runs through him and most of the time, he’s running through people. 

However, despite getting plenty of respect from his teammates and coaches, Budda is being left off of a lot of national lists.

Baker told the world to put some respect on his name with the shirt he wore when reporting to training camp, which said “Can’t buy respect.”

Despite being the highest-paid player at his position and making 4 Pro Bowls, Baker still can’t buy any respect.

“People think I’m the 11th best safety or the #1 safety, I hold myself to a very high standard,” Baker said Tuesday.

Baker’s used to being underrated. He’s been that way most of his life.

“It has definitely gone by very fast. I’m already into year 6,” Baker said.

But, the former 2nd-round pick sure doesn’t play like that.

“He’s on edge,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Tuesday. “You wouldn’t know if it’s the Super Bowl or the first day of training camp.”

Baker and fellow safety Jalen Thompson will make up one of the best safety duos in the NFL.

“He’s breaking the team down now,” Kingsbury said. “The communication on the back end, going into year 4 in our system, he knows it like a coach knows it. It’s inspiring to watch.”

The 26-year-old doesn’t just have experience, he’s got the answers to every question.

“Whoever asks questions, whether it’s on the playbook or even where do we take cold tubs or even where do we get work on in the training room, I’m always going to be that lending hand,” Baker said. “This year’s definitely a year for me where I’ve trained the hardest I’ve ever trained. I’ve worked the hardest I’ve ever worked."

That training was showcased in a recent commercial for the Madden NFL video game and Budda finally got some respect. 

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