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Former Washington State safety Deone Bucannon released by Buccaneers; Shalom Luani joins Chargers’ practice squad

Two former Washington State defensive backs were involved in NFL transactions Wednesday.

Deone Bucannon, the ex-Cougars safety who joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason on a one-year, $2.5 million contract, was released by the organization as it looks to get younger at the inside linebacker spot.

A sixth-year pro who played an important role in his five seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, Bucannon is expected to be a coveted target for NFL teams looking to sign a hybrid linebacker/safety and should “get a chance elsewhere,” according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The New York Giants showed interest in Bucannon before he signed with the Buccaneers, and a move to the Big Apple would reunite the former first-round pick with defensive coordinator James Bettcher, a former Arizona coach.

Bucannon’s played in all five games for Tampa Bay this season, either in a defensive and/or special teams role, and has one tackle in eight defensive snaps. He played in 70 games for Arizona, starting in 56, and had two interceptions, six forced fumbles and 93 tackles.

Another former WSU safety made it onto the waiver wire Wednesday. Shalom Luani, a free agent who most recently played for the Seattle Seahawks, was reported to have joined the Los Angeles Chargers’ practice squad, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Networks. Luani worked out with the Chargers a day earlier.

Luani was a seventh-round NFL draft pick of the Oakland Raiders in 2017 and played 16 games with them before being traded to the Seahawks in September 2018. Luani played 12 games in Seattle before being waived in August.

Former WSU quarterback Luke Falk is expected to relinquish his role as the starter for the New York Jets, with Sam Darnold returning from his mono diagnosis. Falk, in three games as the Jets’ starter, completed 47 of 73 passes for 416 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions.