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CBS Sports’ La Canfora expects Cardinals to trade Deone Bucannon

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Deone Bucannon (20) argues a call during the first half of a preseason NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

There’s a good chance the Arizona Cardinals could part with former starting linebacker Deone Bucannon by the end of the month, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora.

Tuesday night, he reported that Arizona began stepping up efforts to trade its 2014 first-round draft pick with the Oct. 30 trade deadline looming.

La Canfora told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station Wednesday that the Cardinals are willing to help Bucannon out in his search for a better opportunity to play.

“You do a little more digging and it sounds like Bucannon wants out and they’re willing to oblige him,” La Canfora said, “and it doesn’t seem to be a team fit, and he might have an opportunity to go somewhere else and maybe play a little bit more and maybe a little bit more back in a role that he’s familiar with.

“What do you get for him? Boy, I don’t know. Probably not a ton. But I would be surprised if that’s not consummated. Moves beyond that remain to be seen, but he’s probably the first guy out.”

On Sunday, La Canfora reported that the Cardinals were willing to listen to trade proposals for Bucannon and 2017 first-round pick Haason Reddick, another linebacker who fell out of the regular rotation.

The Cardinals could potential get a late-round draft pick back for a player like Bucannon, who has fallen out of favor struggling to adjust to first-year coach Steve Wilks’ system.

He and Reddick lost all but a few snaps to veteran offseason signing Gerald Hodges by Week 3, but Arizona has given Bucannon (Week 4) and Reddick (Week 5) starting linebacker duties as they search for the right mix alongside fellow linebacker Josh Bynes, who has cemented himself as the vocal leader on defense.

“Course it’s tough,” Bucannon said after he played a single defensive snap in the Cardinals’ Week 3 loss to the Chicago Bears. “People know the passion I got for this game, you know what I’m saying? It’s hard.

“Ain’t nothing about myself at the end of the day. I want us to win. If you had them put an option out there for me … (to) not get one snap on this team but we go undefeated here on out, I’m taking me sitting my butt down on the bench and us winning every game.”

John Gambadoro of 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Sports Station is reporting that he doesn’t expect either one to be traded, but that the Cardinals are listening to offers and that it is “extremely unlikely” that a trade is made involving Reddick.

Bucannon, however, holds value with a resume that includes 62 games played in his four-plus year career.

His best season came in 2015, his second NFL campaign, in which he tallied 112 tackles, 3.0 sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception. Just a year ago, Bucannon recorded 82 tackles, 1.0 sack and two forced fumbles with a pick.

Before this season, the converted safety played as a hybrid $ linebacker and was one of the most productive members of the Arizona defense under former head coach Bruce Arians. He thrived playing under former Cardinals defensive coordinators Todd Bowles, now the Jets’ head coach, and James Bettcher, who is currently the Giants’ defensive coordinator.

La Canfora surmised that both teams in New York could view Bucannon as an asset for that very reason.

Other teams could view him as a solid pickup to inject into specific defensive packages.

“It’s not like he’s going to dramatically lift your pass rush, it’s not like he’s going to dramatically make you better in coverage. And that’s on the defensive side of the ball, what the better teams who think they can make a push, are looking for,” La Canfora said.

As for the Cardinals as a whole, listening to trade offers makes them one of the most intriguing teams to watch heading to the deadline, the CBS Sports reporter said.

With two first-round picks getting edged out of the regular rotation for a 1-4 team, there’s no reason for Arizona not to consider all options.

“You’ve got a young head coach, and you’re hitting your fair share of problems early on, you’ve got the hottest team in the world in your division … you’re now on your rookie quarterback, you’ve got $22 million on your bench holding the clipboards,” La Canfora said. “It’s probably not your year, you know, and you’re probably looking towards your future.

“If you’re not keeping an open mind now, when would you ever keep an open mind? Look, Wilks isn’t going anywhere. And the defense is playing — look at some of the numbers on the defense — the defense really ain’t the problem. So if the defense is getting the job done more or less without (Reddick or Bucannon) and he does have some value and as a first-round pick he does make some money, and we can flip that for other assets, we got to be able to listen.”

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