Bleacher Report outlined a few moves that they'd like to see teams make before the 2023 season begins. Could the Broncos make a move for the elite player for former All-Pro? This isn't the first time we've talked about Baker on this website, and the fit could make some sense.
Here's what Bleacher Report had to say about this potential trade going down:
"If so, the Denver Broncos should be on Arizonas phone line with a strong offer for the 27-year-old.- Maurice Moton
This offseason, the Broncos acquired head coach Sean Payton, and he hired Vance Joseph for the defensive coordinator position. Joseph worked with Baker in Arizona. Under his tutelage, the Cardinals safety earned four Pro Bowl nods and made the 2020 All-Pro roster.
In the AFC West, the Broncos could combat Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes with a couple of high-end safeties in 2020 Pro Bowler Justin Simmons and Baker on the back end of the defense."
The addition of Baker for the sake of slowing down opposing offenses in the AFC West is a valid point. He's one of the best safeties in football and can truly do it all on defense. He's only got seven career interceptions, but he also has 34 passes defended, six forced fumbles, 7.5 sacks, and 650 total tackles.
Not only that, he's a five-time Pro Bowl player who made four of those Pro Bows while being coached by Vance Joseph, who is now the DC of the Denver Broncos. If there was any team that made the most sense to acquire Baker's services, it's the Broncos.
The main sticking point here is that Baker does seem to desire a new contract, and Denver already has a bit of money invested in the safety position with Justin Simmons. Would Denver really want to hand over two top contracts at a low-premium position at safety? Moreover, what about Caden Sterns and JL Skinner? What would the plans for them be?
Denver should have enough cap space to make this move, and they could honestly move on from Justin Simmons at the end of the 2023 season to help relieve some of the financial stress in the secondary, as Patrick Surtain II is likely going to sign a massive contract next offseason.
Also, the two sides would have to agree on trade compensation, and I don't think Denver should give up more than a third-round pick in this scenario. Adding Budda Baker would clearly be a move that would put Denver in a clear position to contend in 2023.