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Budda Baker Earns Another Pro Bowl Starting Nod

Safety named to team for fourth straight season

Safety Budda Baker was named a Pro Bowl starter again this season.
Safety Budda Baker was named a Pro Bowl starter again this season.

Budda Baker continued to add to his legacy with the Cardinals after the safety was named to his fifth Pro Bowl in six seasons on Wednesday, tabbed as a starter for the NFC.

Baker was the only Cardinal honored this season. Special teamer Dennis Gardeck and kicker Matt Prater are alternates.

It's only the second time since the 2005 season the Cardinals have only had one Pro Bowler; the other time was cornerback Patrick Peterson in 2018. With 9½ sacks, it is a surprise defensive end J.J. Watt wasn't at least an alternate.

This year's Pro Bowl is no longer a full tackle game. The rules have been adjusted, with the players competing in a series of skills competitions and then a flag-football game on Feb. 5 in Las Vegas.

Baker was named to the Pro Bowl as a special teamer in 2017. Beginning in 2019, he has been named to the team as a safety every season.

This season, Baker already has 102 tackles with a pair of interceptions, six pass breakups, two quarterback hits, a forced fumble, a tackle for loss and one memorable postgame speech captured by "Hard Knocks" cameras.

Baker is the third safety in franchise history to be named to the Pro Bowl at least four times at the position, behind Larry Wilson (8) and Adrian Wilson (5). And he is the third player in franchise history to go to the Pro Bowl at least five times in their first six seasons. Peterson and running back Ollie Matson were both 6-for-6.

Only two active defensive backs have been to more Pro Bowls than Baker -- Peterson (8) and the Vikings' Harrison Smith (6).

This year's Pro Bowl coverage will air live on ESPN on Feb. 2 from 5-6:30 p.m. with skills games, and then on Feb. 5 with more skills games and the flag game from 1-4 p.m. on both ESPN and ABC.