A high-profile clear-out in Buffalo continued on Monday when the team dealt 2016 second-round pick Reggie Ragland to the Chiefs in exchange for a 2019 fourth-round pick.
The Bills made the move official, via their website Monday afternoon.
Ragland, who missed the entire 2016 season with a torn ACL, was not believed to be a fit in Sean McDermott’s new defense. As NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted, Ragland had been on the trading block for most of the summer, though it was always a matter of recouping the best value. Around The NFL’s Marc Sessler sniffed out the Chiefs as a potential landing spot for Ragland two weeks earlier, citing Kansas City’s need to cultivate depth at the linebacker spot.
A Rex Ryan-era pick, Ragland now heads to play for Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton, a fellow employer of the versatile 3-4 look Ryan had pegged Ragland for back in 2016. Sutton was Ryan’s long-time linebackers coach in New York.
So it goes for the new executive group in Buffalo. McDermott made a hasty attempt to change the Ryan-era culture by cracking down on rules and removing the team’s locker room ping pong table. A little more than two weeks ago, new general manager Brandon Beane also took an eraser to the Doug Whaley tenure by executing a blockbuster trade that sent former No. 4 overall pick Sammy Watkins to the Rams and 2015 second-round pick Ronald Darby to the Eagles.
For new general managers and coaches, this type of shakeup seems to have become a standard. Upon Howie Roseman’s return to power in Philadelphia, he distanced the team from almost every major selection or signing of the Chip Kelly era. In Cleveland, the Browns also sold their roster in parts, collecting whatever draft capital they could manage. The Bills have enough experience at quarterback and enough veteran experience to stay afloat in 2017, but the pivot toward a potentially brighter (and younger) future started a few months ago and there’s no looking back.