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Keim: Cardinals fans should ‘tread lightly’ when it comes to trade rumors

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Deone Bucannon (20) reacts after dropping Dallas Cowboys quarterback Cooper Rush (7) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Ranging from sourced reports to rumors thrown into the internet machine, three Arizona Cardinals were named as potential trade candidates this week.

Linebackers Deone Bucannon and Haason Reddick have gone in and out of Arizona’s starting lineup through five weeks this season, leading to speculation about their future with the Cardinals.

CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora even told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station that, based on what he’s heard, it’d be surprising if Bucannon wasn’t traded.

Even franchise running back David Johnson came up in a trade rumor. The running back called it “false news” earlier in the week, and Cardinals general manager Steve Keim used his visit with Doug & Wolf Friday to remind fans that these things hardly mean a trade is on deck.

“The one part of my job is to have dialog with other teams when it comes to trades and different transactions,” Keim said. “Number one, the one thing I won’t do is I won’t confirm or deny those in public. I will tell you it’s a lot of gossip, people enjoy it, it’s water cooler talk. A lot of the stuff that you’ll read is certainly false.

“I know that on Wednesday I woke up to three different names that were brought to my attention and those conversations never happened. I would say to most fans to tread likely when it comes to trade talks because very rarely are those accurate.”

INVOLVING DAVID JOHNSON

There’s no doubt that Arizona must do a better job running the ball.

Heading into this week’s visit to the Minnesota Vikings, the Cardinals rank last by averaging 64.6 rushing yards per game despite deploying David Johnson. Arizona is second-to-last by averaging 3.3 yards per carry, and Johnson has only compiled 242 rushing yards in five games.

“There were still a lot of things that frustrated myself, frustrated all of us. Have to run the ball more effectively,” Keim said of Arizona’s win at San Francisco. “And when you watch the tape, the really frustrating part is why certain plays don’t work. Really sometimes it comes down to one man.”

Johnson carried the ball 18 times for 55 yards (3.1 yards per rush) and two touchdowns while catching two passes for 16 yards.

Asked where to place blame, Keim said it’s an across-the-board issue from the scheme, to Johnson making the right reads, to the offensive line opening up holes.

“It’s all about playing in unison,” the general manager said. “With that, aside from the fact that it needs to be blocked up better, it could be maybe schemed better, it could be David Johnson running with more patience and better eyes. It’s all of us.”

WRIGHT THE SHIP?

Arizona signed veteran wide receiver Kendall Wright this week, and while it’s to-be-seen if he’ll make his debut as a Cardinal Sunday at Minnesota, Keim said that his presence was certainly about giving the receiver room a boost.

“Based on the tape that I watched, the guy has caught the football extremely well, he snatches it out of the air, he can go up and get it in a crowd — crafty, savvy route-runner,” Keim said. “We need a guy who can catch the football. In my opinion, far too many drops this season.”

Wright caught 59 balls for 614 yards and a touchdown in 16 games with the Chicago Bears last season.

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