ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — 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 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.
In Kansas City, 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 three-lineman, four-linebacker-styled 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.
In a separate move, the Bills signed Keith Wenning to address their injury-depleted quarterback position. Buffalo turned to Wenning because starter Tyrod Taylor and third-stringer T.J. Yates are both being evaluated for concussions suffered Saturday in a 13-9 preseason loss at Baltimore.
The injuries left the Bills with fifth-round pick Nathan Peterman as the only quarterback available for their preseason finale against Detroit on Thursday.
The 26-year-old Wenning has yet to play in an NFL game since being selected by Baltimore in the sixth round of the 2014 draft. At college, he set the Ball State career record with 11,402 yards passing and 92 touchdowns.
He was signed by the New York Giants late last season before being cut in May. In Baltimore, Wenning was coached by Bills offensive coordinator Rick Dennison.
The Ragland trade did not come as a surprise a day after coach Sean 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 Rex Ryan was fired in the final week of the season.
Listed at 6-foot-2 and 252 pounds, Ragland was regarded as a far better fit in Ryan’s four-linebacker system than McDermott’s three-linebacker 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.
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.
AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Missouri, contributed to this report.
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