Bleacher Report seems unwilling to let go of the notion that the Detroit Lions should make a deal to acquire a specific experienced safety, even though the idea may have once made some sense.

During the offseason, there’s been discussion about the Detroit Lions potentially needing depth at safety and even considering an upgrade at a starting position. This idea hasn’t been dismissed outright, especially with the expectation that Brian Branch will have an increased role at safety this season.

Meanwhile, it appears Budda Baker’s tenure with the Arizona Cardinals is nearing its conclusion. With one year left on his contract at 28 years old and no indication of an extension forthcoming, he’s a likely candidate to be placed on the trade block. While Baker is maintaining professionalism and saying the right things, it’s natural that the uncertainty surrounding his future could affect him to some degree. Last offseason, he briefly requested a trade before eventually agreeing to a revised contract with a salary increase.




Back in mid-May, Bleacher Report’s Matt Holder listed Baker as one of six NFL veterans who should be targeted in trades, with the Lions being one potential suitor. Since then, Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport has suggested two trades that would bring Baker to Detroit, once as recently as this past week.

Bleacher Report can’t quite let go of idea Lions should trade for Budda Baker

Here is a portion of what Davenport wrote regarding the possibility of Baker joining the Lions in the most recent article, which was based on the idea of “eight shocking trades that would impact playoff races in 2024”.\

The Detroit Lions put up a strong fight against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game and have had a productive offseason. However, one area where they could significantly improve is at safety. While Brian Branch is emerging as a promising nickelback, the current safeties—Kerby Joseph, Ifeatu Melifonwu, and Brandon Joseph—are seen as average talents at best.


Arizona Cardinals Budda Baker Ranked as Top Safety by NFL Execs, Scouts - Sports Illustrated Arizona Cardinals News, Analysis and More

According to Davenport’s recent proposal, the Lions would send a 2025 second-round pick and a 2026 seventh-round pick to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for Budda Baker. An earlier suggestion involved a similar deal but included a sixth-round pick swap in 2026.

Injuries are a concern at safety for the Lions. Ifeatu Melifonwu has a history of injuries, including a hand injury that affected him last season despite playing all 17 games. Kerby Joseph underwent offseason hip surgery but is expected to be ready for training camp. Brian Branch is also recovering from offseason surgery on his left foot/ankle but should be cleared for camp.

Baker himself has dealt with injuries over the past two seasons, and his $14.2 million base salary for this year might be seen as high, although the Lions have ample cap space.


Report: Cardinals' Budda Baker Reworks Contract, Gets $2.4M Raise After Trade Request | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

Having a clear road to a starting position with the Lions would change the nature of the trade discussion for Baker. But as of now, unless there’s a setback for Joseph or Branch, or something happens to Melifonwu, he doesn’t.

If nothing else, the six-time Pro Bowler would want to go somewhere where he would undoubtedly be plugged in as a starter if he were traded before training camp or Week 1. Right now, Detroit is not that kind of squad.


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