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Report: Cardinals ‘stepping up efforts’ to trade LB Deone Bucannon

Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson (26) scores a touchdown as Arizona Cardinals linebacker Deone Bucannon (20) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The Arizona Cardinals are “stepping up their efforts” to trade linebacker Deone Bucannon, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora.

Bucannon was a first-round pick by the Cardinals in 2014 and had a big year for the team in 2015, recording a team-high 112 total tackles, three sacks and three forced fumbles.

He dealt with injuries in both 2016 and 2017, missing seven total games over the two seasons while seeing his quality of play drop after an impressive second season.

This season, Bucannon has had inconsistent playing time. With first-year head coach Steve Wilks using two primary linebackers, the coach has switched between Bucannon and 2017 first-round pick Haason Reddick to play alongside Josh Bynes.

While Bynes has not missed a defensive snap in the last three weeks, Bucannon has played only 22 percent of the defensive snaps over that time. This comes a season after Bucannon played 100 percent of the team’s defensive snaps in eight of his 13 appearances last year and 10 of his 12 games in 2016.

Reddick, meanwhile, played all 98 defensive snaps Sunday in the team’s win over the San Francisco 49ers.

The trade buzz, though, is not just surrounding Bucannon.

According to La Canfora, there have been “serious concerns growing” regarding Reddick’s ability to absorb Wilks’ defensive concepts. Reddick was the No. 13 overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft.

With inconsistent playing time for both linebackers, La Canfora also reports that other executives have been preparing for the chance either player becomes available on the trade market.

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 is an unrestricted free agent after this season while Reddick is in year two of a four-year deal.

The NFL trade deadline is on Oct. 30.

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