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ESPN: Cards should trade Bucannon, 4th-round pick for 7th-rounder

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)

It would make sense for the Arizona Cardinals trade linebacker Deone Bucannon, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell wrote Thursday.

His article, which presented 11 trade ideas for the Oct. 30 deadline, comes on the heels of a report from CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora that said Arizona is trying to trade the fifth-year linebacker.

The contract and recent struggles of Bucannon just make it difficult to find a good landing spot.

Barnwell proposed that Bucannon, who has $6.1 million remaining on his $8.7 million contract this season, would be sent with a 2019 fourth-round pick to the New York Jets in exchange for a seventh-round pick.

It’s similar to the Cleveland Browns’ 2017 trade of quarterback Brock Osweiler to the Houston Texans, which Barnwell wrote at the time was “nakedly about getting rid of a contractual albatross.”

In that deal, the Browns added a second-round and sixth-round pick to the trade to sweeten the deal for the Texans. In exchange, Cleveland received a fourth-round pick.

The trade idea for the Cardinals is based on the same strategy: It’s about Arizona unloading a salary, not the return.

Bucannon had been productive under former head coach Bruce Arians and past defensive coordinators, including Jets head coach Todd Bowles, but his struggles to adjust to the play style of new head coach Steve Wilks has made his playing time inconsistent at best.

He only played for one defensive snap in Week 3, appeared in 73 percent of them in Week 4, then only four last week despite the Cardinals defense being on the field for 92 snaps total, the second-most in team history.

Barnwell called the Jets a “logical” landing spot, as Bowles “should be able to find a way to incorporate Bucannon’s unique skill set into one of the league’s more modern defenses.”

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