KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Only time will tell whether Reggie Ragland will be the solution to the Kansas City Chiefs' effort to find a suitable player to pair with veteran Derrick Johnson at inside linebacker.
But at this point it's hard to fault their effort at a most difficult time of year for this sort of thing. Since Brett Veach was hired as general manager in July, the Chiefs have re-signed LB Josh Mauga, who was a starter in 2014 and 2015. They traded with the Seattle Seahawks for another veteran, Kevin Pierre-Louis.
Now they've sent their fourth-round pick in 2019 to the Bills for Ragland, Buffalo's second-round pick last year.
This amounts to a positive sign for the Chiefs regarding their new general manager. He's throwing available resources, within reason, at a spot they viewed as a problem.
Through most of training camp and the preseason, the Chiefs have gone with last year's starter, Ramik Wilson. But the Chiefs, who had one of the NFL's leakiest run defenses last season, felt they could do better.
Not all the moves are going to work out. Mauga is gone, having been released to clear roster room for Ragland. Pierre-Louis is still running as a backup to Johnson and Wilson but has been a special-teams standout.
Ragland, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 in his final season at Alabama, gives Veach and the Chiefs the best chance yet to fix the problem. He tore an ACL last year in training camp and this year was a victim of Buffalo's move from a 3-4 defensive system to a 4-3.
He should be a better fit with the Chiefs, who not only are looking for an inside linebacker to pair with Johnson this season but also to eventually replace him as an every-down player. Johnson turns 35 in November.
This makes this deal for Ragland a good use of their 2019 fourth-round pick, whether it works out in their favor or not.