ESPN The Buffalo Bills have traded linebacker Reggie Ragland to the Kansas City Chiefs less than two years after using a second-round draft pick on the former Alabama star. The Bills announced Monday that they received a fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft for Ragland, who missed his entire rookie season in 2016 after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee during training camp. Ragland, the 41st overall draft selection last year, was expected to be part of a competition with Preston Brown for the Bills’ starting middle linebacker position this summer. Brown took all of the first-team reps in training camp and the preseason. After beginning training camp with the second-team defense, Ragland was moved to the third team after a week of practice in favor of veteran Gerald Hodges. Ragland played only three defensive snaps in the Bills’ preseason loss Saturday to the Ravens.
The Buffalo Bills new regime is moving on from any player that does not fit the scheme, and any player who is not a part of their long term vision for the franchise, the latest casualty is former second round pick linebacker Reggie Ragland. The Bills drafted Ragland in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, but the former Alabama star missed his entire rookie year with a knee injury, and returned healthy this season. However, the Bills changed their defensive scheme from Rex Ryan’s 3-4 to Leslie Frazier’s 4-3, a scheme for which Ragland is a poor fit. Ragland excelled in Alabama’s 3-4 defense in college, he is your prototypical “thumper” inside linebacker in a 3-4 front, but he lacks the elite sideline-to-sideline quickness needed from the middle linebacker in a 4-3 defense. Ragland had been demoted twice, he was behind starter Preston Brown and backup Gerald Hodges on the depth chart, so the Bills decided to cut bait and trade Ragland to the Kansas City Chiefs for a fourth round pick before he ever played a snap in Buffalo. Ragland will be a great fit in Kansas City’s 3-4 defense, and as he was unlikely to make the roster in Buffalo behind Brown and Hodges the Bills were smart to get value for a talented player who was failing in their new system, this deal makes sense for both teams.