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Budda Baker Signs Rookie Deal With Cardinals

Second-round pick gets his four-year contract, leaving only first-rounder Reddick unsigned


Second-round pick Budda Baker signs his rookie contract Thursday.

The Cardinals are left with one unsigned draft pick.

Only first-round linebacker Haason Reddick doesn't have a contract, after second-round safety Budda Baker put pen to paper Thursday. The other draft picks signed at various times last week.

Reddick should sign prior to the Cardinals finishing their off-season work with the end of minicamp June 8. After that, the front office gets vacation and roster business slows until training camp grows closer.

It's a reason Baker – who cannot take part in the Cardinals' work until after his University of Washington class graduates June 9 – came back just to sign the deal. Baker got permission from the NFL to come in

and sign his contract.

The veterans will have left for the summer by the time Baker returns. There are a couple of extra weeks of rookie classwork he will be able to take part in.

"It's definitely been difficult being away from the veteran type of guys," Baker said. "I feel like I knew this coming into it, and I'm just trying to stay focused and stay with the task at hand. You can just control what you can control and when I am here, just be ready."

While the football has to wait, the contract itself is a milestone, after Baker proved in college his size – Baker is 5-foot-10, 195 pounds – wouldn't stop him from being a playmaker in the secondary.

Baker is expected to have a role in the defense once he is able to be integrated in training camp. The Cardinals often use three safeties in their sub-packages. Thus far this offseason, Tyrann Mathieu and Tyvon Branch have been running with the first unit, with veteran Antoine Bethea and Harlan Miller getting second-unit reps.

"It means a great amount to sign this first contract," Baker said. "Things you dream of when you are little, and now that the situation is happening, it's surreal. I'm excited, but ultimately, I'm just excited to get back on the field."

The Cardinals hold their first rookie minicamp practice in 2017

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