CBS Sports hints at 49ers potentially trading for rival team’s safety

Seeing Budda Baker in a Niners uniform might make George Kittle laugh a bit.

Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker (3)

The 49ers could be seeking an upgrade at safety this offseason, and the Cardinals’ Budda Baker made an exploratory list from CBS Sports.

The San Francisco 49ers are clearly in win-now mode, especially as they enjoy a period in time when quarterback Brock Purdy is playing on his cheap rookie contract, thereby allowing general manager John Lynch and Co. to spend rather lucratively on other positions throughout the roster.

While an anticipated total revamping of the roster is expected in a year or two’s time, paralleling what promises to be a hefty contract extension for Purdy, the Niners can still look to onboard more upper-level talent as they hope to finally secure the franchise’s sixth Lombardo Trophy.

Hopefully sooner than later.

It would make sense for San Francisco to execute some more “all in” kind of moves between now and Week 1, which leads to speculation that Lynch may look to trade for talent in addition to the moves already made in free agency and what will transpire in the upcoming NFL Draft this April.

Turns out, there’s one such player who could potentially be on the 49ers’ radar.

CBS Sports lists Cardinals safety Budda Baker as a possible 49ers trade target

It’s important to note this is speculation. It’s not a rumor or news piece. There’s a difference.

CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin put together a list of five notable players who could find themselves traded this offseason.

One of those names, Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker, found himself listed as a potential Niners trade target.

As far as moving Baker, Benjamin argued the following:

“Baker briefly sought a trade last offseason before getting a slight raise from Arizona. The Cardinals can certainly afford his pricey deal with so much cap space, but they also have a younger Jalen Thompson on the back end of Jonathan Gannon’s defense. If they can get a solid pick in return, they might prefer another younger investment on a seemingly ascending unit. Baker’s versatility and physical punch, meanwhile, could be appealing to teams more suited to contend.”

In addition to San Francisco, Benjamin listed the Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts as potential trade partners for Baker’s services.

Arizona needs draft capital now for long-term investments, while the 49ers need that finishing-touch talent to win a Super Bowl this season.

True, the Niners already have a starting safety tandem penciled in for 2024: Talanoa Hufanga and Ji’Ayir Brown. But Hufanga is working his way back from a torn ACL suffered last year, and there are reports that the All-Pro isn’t guaranteed his starting job this season.

Baker, who has a bit of a personal rivalry with San Francisco’s tight end, George Kittle, is certainly a marquee player. His two first-team All-Pro nods and six Pro Bowl selections attest to this despite playing in relative obscurity on some bad Cardinals teams over his seven-year career.

If the 49ers were ultimately interested in making such a trade, one would have to imagine Baker would relish the opportunity to go to an immediate contender, something he never wholly had during his time in Arizona.

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