Idea Lions should trade for certain veteran safety keeps being brought back

The idea once could have been made to make some sense, but Bleacher Report can't quite let go of the Detroit Lions needing to trade for a certain veteran safety.
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Over the course of the offseason, the notion the Detroit Lions lack safety depth, and could maybe even use an upgrade at a starting spot, has been out there. It's generally not been a ridiculous idea, even amid the idea Brian Branch will see more time at safety this year.

Budda Baker's time with the Arizona Cardinals seems to be coming to an end. Entering the final year of his contract, 28 years old and with no signs an extension is coming, he's easy to put on the trade block. He's of course saying all the right things, and will be a professional, but he wouldn't be human if the overall situation didn't bother him some. He briefly asked for a trade last offseason, before getting a revised contract with a raise.

In naming Baker among six NFL veterans who should be pursued in trades back in mid-May, Matt Holder of Bleacher Report named the Lions as a possible suitor for him. Since then, and once just this past week, Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report has twice proposed trades that would bring Baker to Detroit.

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

In the most recent piece, on the premise of "eight shocking trades that would impact playoff races in 2024", here's some of what Davenport wrote about the prospect of Baker to the Lions.

"The Lions gave the San Francisco 49ers all they could handle in the NFC Championship Game and had a solid offseason."
"But if there's one area where the Lions could use a major boost, it's safety. Brian Branch is a rising young nickelback, but safeties Kerby Joseph, Ifeatu Melifonwu and Brandon Joseph are average talents at best."

Davenport's latest proposed trade would have the Lions sending a 2025 second-round pick and a 2026 seventh-round pick to Arizona for Baker. The first proposal was along the same lines, only with the second pick going to Arizona being a sixth-rounder in 2026 and the Lions also getting a 2026 sixth-rounder in what would amount to a pick swap.

The Lions do have potential injury concerns at safety. Ifeatu Melifonwu has never made it through a season unscathed, limited for a stretch by hand injury last season even as he played all 17 games. Kerby Joseph had offseason hip surgery, but he's expected to be ready for training camp. Even Brian Branch is working his way back from offseason surgery on his left foot/ankle, but by all indications he'll be good to go for camp.

Baker has missed time himself the last two seasons, and his $14.2 million base salary for this year looks a little rich even though the Lions have plenty of cap space.

If Baker had a clear path to a starting role with the Lions, trading for him would be a different conversation. But he doesn't right now, barring a setback for Joseph or Branch or something happening to Melifonwu.

If nothing else, should he be traded before training camp or Week 1, the six-time Pro Bowler would surely like to go somewhere where he'd be plugged in as a starter without question. Detroit is not a team like that at the moment.

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