Chiefs trade for linebacker Reggie Ragland

KC releases Josh Mauga, sends fourth-round pick to Bills for LB

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Linebacker Reggie Ragland will have a chance to prove he’s better suited to play in Kansas City’s defense than Buffalo’s.

 

The Bills cut ties with Ragland on Monday by trading their 2016 second-round draft pick to the Chiefs. In exchange, they acquired a fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft in a deal that made sense for both teams.

The Chiefs added a player with the potential of being an upgrade for Josh Mauga, who was released earlier in the day. Ragland also gets an opportunity to play in a 3-4 defense, which he was accustomed to at Alabama.

The Chiefs are looking to the future in Ragland, who is 23 and has two years left on his rookie contract. Starting middle linebacker Derrick Johnson turns 35 in November and is coming off a ruptured Achilles tendon. Mauga, who missed the 2016 season with a hip injury, appeared to be in the mix to start next to Johnson before being cut.

The Bills landed an asset in return for a player who was in jeopardy of being cut by Saturday, when teams establish their 53-player rosters. Ragland spent much of training camp working with the backups and then saw limited playing time in three preseason games.

Listed at 6-foot-2 and 252 pounds, Ragland was regarded as a far better fit in former Bills coach Rex Ryan’s 3-4 system than current coach Sean McDermott’s three-linebacker scheme. The Chiefs currently run a 3-4 defensive scheme.

Buffalo traded up eight spots to select Ragland with the 41st pick in the 2016 draft. Last summer, he was competing for a starting job before suffering a season-ending torn left knee ligament in training camp.

The Ragland trade did not come as a surprise a day after McDermott acknowledged the player was still fighting to win a spot on the roster. Ragland was having difficulty adjusting to a new defense introduced by McDermott, who was hired in January after Ryan was fired in the final week of the season.

Ragland was a two-year starter and a unanimous All-American as a senior, when he led the Crimson Tide with 102 tackles including 60 solo.

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