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NFL training camp: Notable players who could be traded/released

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The list of potential roster cuts or trade candidates at the outset of training camp is not nearly as long or spicy as one constructed in February. At this point, if a big name or highly paid player doesn't make it to Week 1, something has usually gone wrong. That something could include a slow recovery from injury or simply a rough camp. In the hot sunlight of August, some veterans don't look as integral as they did on a winter's whiteboard.

The rundown below is comprised of players who can't afford to endure a sluggish August, as such a development could put them at risk of not remaining with their current teams into the season.

NOTE: All salary and cap figures courtesy of Over The Cap.

Trade candidates

LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills: The Bills could save over $6 million by dumping their sixth leading rusher of all time, but this wouldn't be a move primarily about money. While Shady still looked explosive at times in 2018, his 3.2 yards-per-carry mark raised questions about whether he's a fit for coordinator Brian Daboll's offense. Bills general manager Brandon Beane has told anyone who will listen that he believes McCoy can still play, and I believe him. But if Frank Gore, T.J. Yeldon and rookie Devin Singletary all look strong in camp, Beane should be willing to deal McCoy for a mid-to-late-round draft pick. This scenario might only come together if there is a serious injury to a starter elsewhere in the league.

Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns: Johnson asked for a trade this offseason, but it makes sense that general manager John Dorsey hasn't listened yet. Johnson is an excellent complementary back on a reasonable contract, one that Dorsey negotiated just last offseason. Cleveland won't get Kareem Hunt back from suspension until after midseason, so I suspect the Browns won't get a trade offer for Johnson with as much value as Johnson could provide to a playoff-ready roster.

Case Keenum, QB, Washington Redskins: This is a long-shot scenario, but it's possible the Redskins could flip Keenum before he ever plays a snap for the team. If Dwayne Haskins beats out Keenum for the starting job and Colt McCoy is healthy enough to back Haskins up, the Redskins could probably get a pick swap at worst in exchange for Keenum. Due just $3.5 million in 2019, Keenum makes less than most veteran backup quarterbacks.

Josh Jones, S, Green Bay Packers: The 2017 second-round pick asked for a trade in the offseason and may get his wish if the Packers' secondary stays healthy throughout camp.

At risk of release

Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions: The Lions signed C.J. Anderson in free agency, then drafted Ty Johnson to build up the team's running back depth. With second-year back Kerryon Johnson entrenched as the starter, Riddick will need to stay healthy and show off his impressive hands to ensure a roster spot.

UPDATE: The Lions released Riddick on Saturday morning, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

Tavon Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys: We're a long way from Cowboys executive Stephen Jones expecting Austin to average double-digit touches per game. Dallas signed slot receiver Randall Cobb and drafted satellite back Tony Pollard, who could take Austin's return duties. Given just $500,000 guaranteed on his new contract, Austin might wind up competing with Allen Hurns for a roster spot.

UPDATE: The Cowboys are releasing Hurns, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

C.J. Prosise, RB, Seattle Seahawks: After having the former third-round pick log just 16 games over three seasons, Seahawks GM John Schneider could stop waiting for Prosise to get healthy.

Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots: It's hard to imagine Bill Belichick cutting a player as Patrioty as Burkhead, even if the numbers game isn't promising. Sony Michel, James White and rookie third-rounder Damien Harris are locks to make the squad, while special teamer Brandon Bolden and fullback James Develin are good bets. Even the committee-loving Patriots would struggle to keep six players in one backfield, although August injuries often have a way of making these decisions easier.

Demaryius Thomas, WR, New England Patriots: Never assume a receiver coming off a torn Achilles tendon will make it all the way back, especially a 31-year-old like Thomas, who showed signs of decline before the injury.

Paxton Lynch, QB, Seattle Seahawks: The former first-round pick in Denver will be battling Geno Smith for the backup job behind Russell Wilson. Geno's not going out like that.

DeShone Kizer, QB, Green Bay Packers: It's possible that Aaron Rodgers' backup is not yet on Green Bay's roster. Kizer has yet another new coach to win over, something he's struggled to do in the past. Packers coach Matt LaFleur is a candidate to scour the waiver wire or low-end trade market for one of "his guys."

Mason Crosby, K, Green Bay Packers: Green Bay signed Sam Ficken to compete with Crosby in camp. While Ficken is an underdog, this Packers staff doesn't have the same loyalty to Crosby as the previous regime.

Torrey Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers: Smith took a $2 million pay cut in May just to stay on the team, so GM Marty Hurney already proved the Panthers were prepared to say goodbye to one of the NFL's ultimate good guys. The signing of Chris Hogan could box out Smith in the "trusty veteran" role.

Laquon Treadwell, WR, Minnesota Vikings: If the Vikings were deeper at the position, the 2016 first-round pick would be in even greater danger. The team declined the fifth-year option on his rookie contract following three seasons in which he totaled just 517 yards.

Cameron Meredith, WR, New Orleans Saints: Signed last offseason as a restricted free agent from the Bears on a two-year, $9.5 million contract, Meredith struggled to get snaps in 2018. He took a reduced salary with $1.5 million guaranteed to stay a second year, but the Saints could just eat that cash as a sunk cost if he can't stay healthy.

Carlos Hyde, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: Given $700,000 guaranteed when he signed with the Chiefs, Hyde is a boom-or-bust fantasy pick. The Chiefs swear that Damien Williams is their starter and Hyde is his likely backup, but two previous teams have already soured on Hyde quicker than expected.

Treyvon Hester, DT, Philadelphia Eagles: Getting a finger on the kick that made Bears coach Matt Nagy partly lose his mind should be worth a roster spot.

Seth DeValve, TE, Cleveland Browns: Our nation's preeminent Browns fan has conjured up visions of DeValve running free as a member of the New England Patriots, so who am I to question one of Marc's famous Sesslers?

Other names at risk of release: Ryan Allen, P, New England Patriots; Chris Boswell, K, Pittsburgh Steelers; Artie Burns, CB, Pittsburgh Steelers; Ken Crawley, CB, New Orleans Saints; Vernon Davis, TE, Washington Redskins; Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens; Ereck Flowers, OT, Washington Redskins; Joshua Garnett, OG, San Francisco 49ers; Taylor Heinicke, QB, Carolina Panthers; Cardale Jones, QB, Los Angeles Chargers; Greg Joseph, K, Cleveland Browns; Kyle Lauletta, QB, New York Giants; Terrelle Pryor, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars; Reggie Ragland, LB, Kansas City Chiefs; Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Washington Redskins; Wendell Smallwood, RB, Philadelphia Eagles; DeMarcus Walker, DL, Denver Broncos; DeAndre Washington, RB, Oakland Raiders.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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