Green Bay Packers: Preston Smith Named in Proposed Trade for 5-Time Pro Bowl Safety

Green Bay Packers: Preston Smith Named in Proposed Trade for 5-Time Pro Bowl Safety

Preston Smith is mentioned in a proposed trade for 5-Time Pro Bowl Safety by the Green Bay Packers.

After losing to the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night Football, the Green Bay Packers enter the Bye Weeks 2-3 with a lot of frustration.
The team will consider a variety of strategies to enhance their roster as they look to the future. The Packers actually like their young players, so trading for one of them is unlikely.

That being said, the Packers may look to trade a few veterans before the 2023 trade deadline.
Preston Smith, an edge rusher, is one of these athletes.
Author Austin Krueger suggested that the Packers might trade the seasoned edge rusher for a renowned safety in a recent article for Lombardi Avenue.

Preston Smith would be sent to the Arizona Cardinals as part of a trade involving the Green Bay Packers in exchange for safety Budda Baker.

The Packers’ two biggest needs are listed by Krueger in his article as safety and an improved offensive line.
Smith, in part due to his contract with the team, is also mentioned as being the most tradeable veteran in Green Bay.

He lists a number of safeties and offensive linemen that could be obtained in exchange for Smith, but he adds that Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker would be a “big swing:”.

“Although I wouldn’t anticipate it, the Packers might decide to take a risk by pairing Preston with draft picks to sign a player who will start in his place and serve as a long-term solution.

S Jeremy Chinn, S Tre’von Moehrig, DB Jalen Mills, OG/C James Daniels, and LT Jonah Williams are all potential trade targets.

S Budda Baker, big swing.

Packers supporters have had their eye on Baker, a five-time Pro Bowl safety, for a while now.
However, is he really a better option for the team in 2023, and would Green Bay benefit from that trade beyond this season?

Compared to Rudy Ford and Darnell Savage, how does Budda Baker stack up?

To put it simply, Baker cannot be compared to the Packers’ starting safeties in 2023.
This is due to Baker’s injury reserve status, which he has had since September 18, which is the second week of the season.

He hurt his hamstring.

It would not be fair to compare Baker to Rudy Ford and Darnell Savage because he has only played in a small portion of games.
The following table contrasts Baker’s 2022 PFF grades with Savage’s and Ford’s 2023 PFF grades for those who are interested.

Baker (2022) received the following defensive grades: 73.7 overall defense; 80.2 run defense; 66.5 tackling; 59.0 pass rush; and 69.1 coverage.

Savage (2023): 59.5 overall defensive grade; 73.8 run defense grade; 63.1 tackling grade; 52.2 pass rush grade; and 54.0 coverage grade.

Ford (2023): 73 point seven overall defense; 67 point three run defense; 81 point seven tackling; 58 point zero pass rush; and 74 point zero coverage.

Interestingly, despite Baker being better at run defense and Ford being better at pass defense, Baker and Ford both received very similar grades.
Therefore, Baker participated in the Pro Bowl the previous year. Ford is enjoying a good year.

Of course, Baker would be a better option than Savage, but only if he could maintain his level of performance from the prior campaign.
He can absolutely return and continue to play at a high level for the remainder of the season, but there is the contract to consider.

After the season, Budda Baker will be a free agent.

A four-year, $59 million deal with the Cardinals that Baker signed in 2020 is now in its final year. This, of course, indicates that he will only serve as a rental for whichever team makes a trade for him.

On the one hand, that implies that the Cardinals shouldn’t be asking for too much for him.
Smith won’t likely need to be made available by Green Bay in order for that trade to go through.

For any playoff contenders looking to improve their safety room, Baker will be a hot commodity on the trade market.
The Packers could lose out to a team offering early draft picks even if they make Smith available.

Offering Smith in exchange for Baker would be a significant swing, but one that a team in a transition year shouldn’t make.
After this season, Baker won’t be bound by a contract, so he won’t add much to the Packers’ long-term goals. Green Bay will merely not try to make the trade.


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