Bellevue High School alumnus and NFL player Budda Baker has just signed a contract with the Arizona Cardinals making him the highest paid safety in the league’s history.
Baker, 24, agreed to a four-year $59 million contract extension with the team, widely reported on Tuesday, Aug. 25. That will average about $14.75 million a year.
After graduating Bellevue High School, Baker attended University of Washington and was a safety with the Huskies. He dropped his senior season to enter the 2017 National Football League draft, when he joined the Cardinals in the second round. He’s started 36 games during his first three seasons with Arizona.
Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim stated in an article, from the team’s website on the contract announcement, that Baker’s skills and attitude last season stood out. He said Budda was on the top of the list to get his contract extended.
“That was an emphasis on ‘What does a Cardinal look like,’” Keim states. “To me, that’s everything Budda Baker embodies. His passion, his love for the game, his speed, his explosiveness, and his desire.”
At Bellevue, Baker won five team state titles in football and track, and eight individual titles in track and field.
Baker left Bellevue as one of the most decorated and heralded athletes in the team’s prep sports history.
“He’s one of the best practice players I’ve ever seen, no question,” Bellevue head coach Butch Goncharoff told Bellevue Reporter in 2013.