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Budda Baker plans to attend training camp: 'When it's time to be there, I'll be there smiling'

Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker has been out of the news since he requested a trade in April, but he is back in the headlines for now.

With voluntary organized team activities kicking off for most teams this week, Baker, who was not in attendance for Arizona, says he plans to report to Arizona's training camp.

"Oh yeah, of course, I'll be there when it's time to be there," Baker said, via 12News’ Cameron Cox. "When it's time to be there, I'll be there smiling and (be) the same regular guy that I am."

Despite a 4-13 season, the two-time All-Pro safety turned out to be a bright spot in Arizona's defense. Baker was honored with his fifth Pro Bowl nod. Appearing in 15 games, he had 111 combined tackles, two interceptions, two QB hits and one forced fumble.

Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon is not worried about Baker's absence during OTAs.

"Budda will show up when he wants to show up," Gannon said earlier this week, via the team’s official website. "He's been awesome. He kind of wears us out a little bit with the tape and different things like that, but he's working and he'll get himself ready to play."

Baker, a second-round pick by the Cardinals in the 2017 NFL Draft, reportedly wants a new deal as he has two years left in his second NFL contract. The 27-year-old signed a four-year, $59 million extension in 2020 and will make a base salary of nearly $13 million this season, per Over the Cap.

"For me personally, I'm just letting the business aspect handle the business aspect. Letting my agent handle all that type of stuff," Baker said. "I'm continuing to have tunnel vision on my work ethic, being the best person I can be outside of football and just enjoying life. Enjoying this offseason, enjoying working hard each and every day, and just excited to go back and play football again."

Heading into training camp, Baker sits as the seventh-highest-paid safety annually.

After releasing DeAndre Hopkins on Friday, the Cardinals will hope Baker stays true to himself by smiling and attending training camp practice in July.

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