A report from ESPN says the Seahawks are soliciting trade offers for receiver Jermaine Kearse.

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The Seahawks are attempting to trade veteran receiver Jermaine Kearse in advance of Saturday’s roster cutdown date, according to a report from Dianna Russini of ESPN.

Kearse’s status has been the subject of much fan and social media debate after he suffered a down year in 2016 after signing a three-year contract with the team that spring worth up to $13.5 million overall — he caught just 41 passes for 511 yards in 2016 after catching 49 for 685 in 2015.

It has been thought all along unlikely Kearse would be back in 2018 when he has a $6.8 million salary cap hit which undoubtedly factors into any thoughts of trading him, with the team potentially trying to get value for a player who may not figure in its long-range plans.

However, the fact that the team will have to take a $3.666 million salary cap hit on Kearse for this season — which it could split evenly over the 2017 and 2018 seasons, so meaning $1.8 million each year — and would save only $366,667 by releasing him has led to the idea that he would likely be with the team in 2017.

But a trade would also allow the team to save $2.2 million in cash for Kearse’s annual salary this season and also open up room in what is something of a log jam at receiver.

The Seahawks expect Tyler Lockett to return for the regular season opener Sept. 10 at Green Bay and likely rejoin Doug Baldwin and Paul Richardson in the team’s starting three-receiver sets — Baldwin and Richardson have been the starters in the base offense during the preseason with Kearse coming in for three-receiver sets.

Kasen Williams has been a preseason standout and appears likely on the roster and the team also has Tanner McEvoy and third-round pick rookie Amara Darboh as players it could keep if it wanted six receivers without Kearse. A trade of Kearse might also make it easier to keep J.D. McKissic, who has played both receiver and running back and this week appears to more of a running back, on the 53-man roster. McKissic has also been the team’s primary returner in the exhibition season, a spot where the team may want some depth as Lockett works his way back.

Kearse made Seattle’s roster in 2012 as an undrafted free agent out of Washington and has emerged as one of Russell Wilson’s most trusted targets since then catching what were the game-winning touchdowns in each of the two NFC title game victories that put the Seahawks into the Super Bowl. Coach Pete Carroll earlier in training camp talked about the “great chemistry” between Wilson and Kearse.

But his contract coupled with less expensive receivers the team might like to keep around — as well as the probability that Kearse wouldn’t be with the team in 2018 regardless of what happens this season because of his salary cap hit — may have the team considering its options, especially with an apparent increasing confidence that Lockett will be back for the Green Bay game.

Kearse, though, also earned high praise from Carroll following Friday’s 26-13 win over Kansas City which Kearse helped spearhead with an early 39-yard reception from Wilson — the longest offensive play of the exhibition season for the Seahawks.

“Yeah, he looked good tonight,’’ Carroll said of Kearse. “He did a really good job. I thought the catch over the shoulder was a great throw, but it was better how he set it up and kind of lulled the guy to sleep, and then separated to make the catch right at the last moment. A really classy catch. He’s been playing really great. He had a good game last week, too.”

But who knows? Maybe Carroll was talking up Kearse to try to increase his trade value, which would likely be a for a single late-round draft pick at the most.

If the Seahawks were to trade Kearse they would be taking a gamble with their receiving rotation.

Lockett is coming off of a broken tibia and fibula suffered last Dec. 24 and has yet to play in the exhibition season. Richardson has also battled injuries throughout his career and his 51 catches in three seasons is barely more than the 49 of Kearse’s best year. Williams has played just three regular season games, McEvoy one season and Darboh has yet to make a catch in two exhibition games.

NFL teams must cut their rosters from the training camp maximum of 90 to the regular season maximum of 53 by Saturday at 1 p.m. That teams know 1,184 players will become available on Saturday may not make a trade easy — teams could just wait to see if the Seahawks waive Kearse. But Seattle appears to be looking to be proactive about a position where it may feel comfortable with its depth.