ORCHARD PARK, NY – After playing just three snaps in Saturday’s preseason loss to the Ravens it was abundantly clear that linebacker Reggie Ragland’s days as a Buffalo Bill were numbered.
On Monday the Bills shipped the former second-round pick to Kansas City, commanding a 2019 fourth-round pick in return. The team confirmed the news via Twitter.
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) August 28, 2017
During the 2016 NFL Draft, Buffalo traded their second and fourth round picks as well as a 2017 fourth-round pick to move up eight slots with Chicago to select drafted Ragland – who was a perfect fit for Rex Ryan’s 3-4 defense – at 41st overall. Unfortunately, the Alabama product tore his ACL at training camp later on that summer and saw his rookie campaign end before it even began.
Ragland spent this past year rehabbing from knee surgery and worked his way onto the second-team defense in time for the start of camp, where he was expected to battle veteran Preston Brown for a starting job. Ultimately that never came to fruition as Ragland struggled to get his legs back underneath him and simply wasn’t a fit for Sean McDermott’s 4-3 scheme. A few weeks back he stumbled down to the depth chart to the third-team defense and he saw his reps decreased throughout the preseason.
As recently as Sunday, McDermott made it known that the second-year linebacker was entering Thursday’s preseason finale on the roster bubble.
“Well he just needs to continue to work hard and show us what he can do,” the Bills first-year head coach said. “I think he did some of that last night on special teams, he continues to improve defensively. Just like the rest of the guys, he has to continue to earn the right to be on this football team, and I think he’s done some really good things over the last couple of days.”
From Spencer’s Perspective
While the Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby trades came as more of a surprise, this move was almost expected. The thought of trading Ragland was suggested a few weeks back, when he first found himself running with the threes. Ragland was being phased out and the fact that McDermott even admitted he was still fighting for a roster spot yesterday said all anyone needed to know.
Ragland’s recovery from knee surgery was probably a contributing factor to his struggles throughout camp, but the bigger thing here is that he simply doesn’t fit McDermott’s defense. There was no spot reserved for him on this team and no where for him to make an impact. It was time to move on, and –like the Cardale Jones trade – instead of cutting him at the end of the week, now they got something of value for him in the 2019 fourth-round pick.
Which leads us beautifully into the parameters of the deal. In Buffalo’s case you essentially get back one of the fourth-round picks you had to sacrifice to move up and select Ragland in 2016. More importantly though the Bills add to their surplus of future draft capital. They already have six picks in the first three rounds of next year’s draft to help stockpile young talent or move up the draft board and get a franchise QB. Now you can add a 2019 fourth rounder into the mix.
As for the Chiefs, they add a young player with a high ceiling – assuming the knee isn’t still an issue – who can learn under great linebackers like Derrick Johnson and Justin Houston.
I like this move a ton for both teams.
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