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Budda Baker reports for Cardinals' mandatory minicamp amid trade request

Budda Baker's trade request isn't keeping him from showing up for work.

The safety is present at the Cardinals' facility ahead of mandatory minicamp, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday.

Baker requested a trade in February following Arizona's decision to turn the page toward the future with a new leadership regime. Baker has two years remaining on his existing contract, which he signed in 2020. The current deal will pay him $13 million in base salary in 2023 and $14.2 million in 2024, making him the seventh-highest-paid safety on an annual basis, per Over The Cap.

Baker earned a fifth trip to the Pro Bowl in 2022 after posting his fourth 100-plus-tackle season of his six-year career, but was forced to battle through injury in what proved to be an incredibly difficult season for a disappointing Cardinals squad.

At 27 years old and in the prime of his career, Baker stands as an important piece in Arizona's future. His desire to leave speaks volumes of where the club stands at this point with a new general manager (Monti Ossenfort) and head coach (Jonathan Gannon) now in charge and an uncertain timeline for the return of quarterback Kyler Murray.

"I think we're going to continue to keep our discussions and line of communication open, which Budda's been great, his representation's been great," Ossenfort said Monday in an appearance on the Wolf and Luke show, via the team website. "We're going to get through this week here and see where we're at."

After three seasons in which the Cardinals were expected to contend, 2023 will begin with much lower hopes. Baker is likely aware of this, and although he's positioned himself to either cash in or find a more optimistic situation elsewhere, he's also not hampering his preparation process ahead of the new campaign -- or subjecting himself to fines.

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