Reggie Ragland

Raiders Sign TE Jacob Hollister

The Raiders lost a pair of key players to injured reserve today, and the organization is now starting to fill in the open roster spots. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter), the Raiders have signed tight end Jacob Hollister off the Vikings practice squad.

[RELATED: TE Darren Waller To IR | WR Hunter Renfrow To IR]

The Raiders are also signing linebacker Curtis Bolton from their practice squad to the active roster, per Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus (on Twitter). Linebacker Reggie Ragland will be taking the open practice squad spot, according to ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter).

Hollister has bounced around the NFL a bit since going undrafted in 2017. In six professional seasons, the tight end has seen time in 59 games (12 starts), including a two-season stint in Seattle that saw him haul in 66 total catches. After spending much of the 2021 campaign in Jacksonville, Hollister joined the Raiders in March. He landed on IR before the end of the preseason and was later granted his release.

He later caught on with the Vikings’ practice squad and was promoted for a pair of games. With Darren Waller sidelined for at least the next four games, Hollister will likely see some playing time behind expected fill-in Foster Moreau.

Bolton has seen time in six games since the beginning of the 2021 season, including a single appearance for the Raiders earlier this season. His signing to the active roster comes on the heels of Blake Martinez‘s decision to retire earlier today. Ragland, a former second-round pick, started nine of his 17 games for the Giants in 2021. The 29-year-old has 279 tackles across five NFL seasons.

AFC Workouts: Raiders, James, Clement

Las Vegas seems to be trying to fill in a few gaps all over the roster. Over the past two days, the Raiders have kicked the tires on an offensive lineman, a pair of linebackers, and a couple of defensive backs.

On Thursday, Las Vegas took a look at former Colts’ draft pick Joe Haeg, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. Haeg started 14 games for Indianapolis as a rookie after being selected in the fifth round in 2015. Haeg suffered an ankle injury in 2018 that landed him on injured reserve, and he never quite came back to his former status as a starter. He spent two separate seasons as a backup lineman for the Buccaneers and Steelers before Pittsburgh released him to make room for offensive lineman Jesse Davis, whom they acquired in a trade on cut-day. Haeg is visiting multiple teams, according to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, so no deal is currently imminent.

The Raiders also brought in two high former draft picks to audition for linebacker roster spots, trying out Alec Ogletree and Reggie Ragland, according to Field Yates of ESPN. Despite creeping up on 31-years-old, Ogletree has been a serviceable starter for every team he’s played on over the years, except for the Jets who released him early into the 2020 season. Since being drafted by the Chiefs in 2016, Ragland has been a spot starter for Kansas City, Detroit, and New York. He has a working relationship with Las Vegas defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who held the same position with the Giants last year.

Graham looked at another familiar face when the Raiders auditioned defensive back Jarren Williams, who spent the last two seasons with the Giants as a reserve cornerback. Las Vegas also took a look at cornerback T.J. Carrie who was a seventh-round pick for the team in 2014. Carrie looks to return to the organization after two stints as a rotational cornerback with the Browns and Colts.

Here’s a look at a couple of other workouts from around the league, starting with a tight end visiting a division rival of his former team:

  • The Browns worked out tight end Jesse James yesterday, according to Yates. James spent his rookie deal as the main tight end in Pittsburgh. Since then, he’s spent time in the NFC North with the Lions and Bears. After releasing Austin Hooper back in March, Cleveland hold only David Njoku and Harrison Bryant on the 53-man roster. James holds some receiving ability, but has taken a role lately as more of a blocker, something the Browns could use more of in the tight end room.
  • The day after roster cuts, the Jaguars brought in running back Corey Clement for a work out, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. The team ended up claiming JaMycal Hasty off the waiver wire from the 49ers, filling their fourth running back roster spot, so Clement will have to keep searching for his next NFL job.

Inside Linebacker Market

There are many inside linebackers waiting patiently on the open market. A wild first week of free agency has come and gone with other positions seeing record deals and big names moving. The market for inside linebackers, however, has been quiet and less than lucrative.

In years past, we’ve seen monster deals to players like C.J. Mosley, whose contract has an average annual value of $17MM and guaranteed him $43MM at signing, and Darius Leonard, whose contract has an average annual value of $19.7MM and guaranteed him $33MM at signing. The largest payout we’ve seen this offseason to an inside linebacker was when the Packers kept De’Vondre Campbell from entering free agency with a five-year, $50MM deal, with a guaranteed $15MM. It’s certainly an impressive deal, and one the esteemed linebacker deserves, but no other deals have come close.

After being cut by the Jaguars, Myles Jack signed a two-year, $16MM deal to become a Steeler. Josey Jewell remained with the Broncos after signing a two-year, $11MM deal. Minnesota’s new inside linebacker, Jordan Hicks, joined the Vikings on a two-year, $10MM contract. Christian Kirksey signed a similar deal to remain with the Texans. We’ve seen a few other small deals like Zaire Franklin signing a three-year, $10MM deal to remain in Indianapolis and Alex Anzalone signing a one-year, $2.25MM contract to play another year with the Lions.

While that may sound pretty active, there are many big names who have yet to find deals. The biggest of these names is Bobby Wagner. Cut after ten outstanding years in Seattle, Wagner was expected to be a highly sought after free agent. While there have been many teams who’ve voiced interest in the eight-time All-Pro, there has been no word of negotiations. Any deal Wagner signs will likely top the numbers posed by Campbell and the Packers, but the fact that he has yet to find a home may hint at the fact that the money he’s looking for isn’t being offered.

There are many other impact names on the open market: Kwon Alexander, Jayon Brown, Jarrad Davis, Dont’a Hightower, Anthony Hitchens, Nick Kwiatkoski, Reggie Ragland, Joe Schobert, and Danny Trevathan.

Due to the low spending we’ve seen thus far and the plethora of names available, these players will likely have to search for the right fit and accept a decent deal if offered. They may end up having to wait until injuries provide an opportunity for them to fill in on a roster. The exception, of course, is Wagner, who can afford to be patient. Wagner will have the luxury of being able to wait and see how rosters form throughout the league, biding his time until he’s sure he’s joining a contender. Look for the others to give up on looking for a lucrative payday and settle for decent deals from teams with schemes they like.

Giants To Sign LB Reggie Ragland

Reggie Ragland will be entering his fifth NFL season in 2021, and he’ll be in uniform for his fourth NFL team. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that the free agent linebacker is signing with the Giants. It’s a one-year deal for the 27-year-old.

The 2016 second-round pick out of Alabama missed his entire rookie campaign due to a torn ACL, and he found himself buried on the Bills depth chart during the 2017 preseason. He was ultimately traded to the Chiefs for a fourth-round pick, and the linebacker proceeded to start 10 games for his new team. Ragland started 22 more games for Kansas City in 2018 and 2019, and he earned a ring after appearing in three playoff games (one start) with the Chiefs during his final season with the organization.

He signed with the Lions last offseason and saw inconsistent playing time throughout the 2020 campaign. He ended up starting six of his 16 games, collecting 52 tackles, four tackles for loss, and three QB hits. However, he only finished with a single sack in 562 defensive snaps.

The Giants’ interest in free agent linebackers isn’t anything new. We learned earlier today that the team was set to host free agent linebacker Brandon Copeland.

Lions Sign Reggie Ragland, Elijah Lee

On Friday, the Lions added a pair of linebackers to the pack. They’ve signed Reggie Ragland and Elijah Lee, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com and Justin Rogers of the Detroit News (Twitter links). 

Ragland, a 2016 second-round pick of the Bills under the Doug Whaley regime, was traded to the Chiefs in the summer of 2017. You may recall that Ragland was one of several Bills players to be jettisoned in that offseason – wide receiver Sammy Watkins, cornerback Ronald Darby, and quarterback Cardale Jones were all shipped out. He never played a down for the Bills due to his torn ACL, but he’s compiled 160 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and one interception over the last two years for KC. When he turns 27 in September, he’ll suit up for his third NFL club.

Lee, a former seventh-round pick, has carved out a nice career for himself. In three years, Lee has appeared in 38 games and tallied 76 total stops.

Both ‘backers will join a retooled Detroit D, one that will forge ahead without longtime stalwart Darius Slay. While Slay starts a new chapter with the Eagles, the Lions will work to fortify their squad with the third- and fifth-round picks they received from Philly.

Bills Trade LB Reggie Ragland To Chiefs

The Bills sure love to make trades. On Monday, the Bills shipped linebacker Reggie Ragland to the Chiefs for a 2019 fourth-round draft pick, according to an announcement from Kansas City. "<strong

Ragland, a 2016 second-round pick made by the Doug Whaley regime, was fighting for a roster spot this summer. The 23-year-old missed the entirety of his rookie campaign with an ACL injury and has yet to see live NFL action.

The Bills are not only under new leadership, but they also have an entirely different defensive scheme. Rex Ryan‘s 3-4 is gone and has been replaced with Sean McDermott‘s 4-3. Ragland, apparently, was not a fit for Buffalo’s new-look D, but he could find a home in KC’s 3-4.

The Bills traded up to take the Alabama product in 2016, giving up a second-rounder (49th overall), fourth-rounder (117th overall), and a future fourth-rounder for the 41st-overall pick. Between the 2014 and 2015 seasons, Ragland racked up 195 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, and four sacks.

Assuming he cracks the 53-man roster, Ragland will serve as support for Chiefs starting inside linebackers Ramik Wilson and Derrick Johnson.

Ragland is the latest Bills player to be traded, following the path of wide receiver Sammy Watkins, cornerback Ronald Darby, and quarterback Cardale Jones. Between these swaps and their draft day deal with the Chiefs, the Bills now have an impressive stockpile of future selections, including the Chiefs’ 2018 first round pick, the Rams’ 2018 second round pick, the Eagles’ 2018 third round pick, and the Chiefs’ 2019 fourth round pick.

AFC East Notes: Patriots, Bills, Petty

The Patriots waived/injured Matt Lengel earlier today, leading ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss to wonder whether the team will carry three tight ends heading into the regular season. Behind Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen, the team is now rostering third-year player James O’Shaughnessy and undrafted rookies Jacob Hollister and Sam Cotton. Reiss writes that O’Shaughnessy’s special teams prowess makes him the favorite for the third tight end spot, but he adds that Hollister did earn the praise of coach Bill Belichick. The Patriots also have fullback James Develin, who often spends time practicing with the tight ends.

Reiss also notes that the Patriots carried four tight ends heading into last season, but they whittled that number down to two following the A.J. Derby trade and release of Clay Harbor. Ultimately, the writer believes the team will carry a third tight end, but he warns that the organization could carry two as they look to keep an extra player elsewhere.

More notes from around the AFC East…

  • The Patriots are more likely to make an external addition to replace Julian Edelman at wide receiver or Kony Ealy at defensive end than to give an incumbent player more snaps, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. Edelman is lost for the season after tearing his ACL over the weekend, while New England waived Ealy on Saturday. At wideout, specifically, Austin Carr and Devin Lucien are more likely to earn a spot on the Patriots’ practice squad than make the club’s 53-man roster, per Reiss.
  • With both Tyrod Taylor and T.J. Yates in the concussion protocol, the Bills are considering signing another quarterback, head coach Sean McDermott told reporters, including Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News (Twitter link). At present, Buffalo only boasts one healthy quarterback in rookie Nathan Peterman, meaning it could be difficult for the club to even get through a practice session. As such, the Bills are likely looking at camp arms or developmental options, not a Colin Kaepernick-level addition.
  • McDermott also confirmed that 2016 second-round linebacker Reggie Ragland is fighting for a Bills roster spot, as Joe Buscaglia of WKBW tweets. Playing behind Preston Brown and Gerald Hodges, Ragland has been mentioned as a trade candidate, but it’s also possible he’s simply waived. Ragland, 23, missed the entirey of his rookie campaign with an ACL injury, and neither McDermott nor general manager Brandon Beane has any allegiance to the Alabama product given the he was drafted by Buffalo’s previous regime.
  • Bryce Petty survived an injury scare following last night’s preseason game, as the Jets quarterback escaped with a Grade 1 MCL sprain, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, who adds Petty is hopeful he’ll be able to play in New York’s final exhibition contest on Thursday night. The 26-year-old Petty performed admirably against the Giants, completing 15 of 18 pass attempts for 250 yards and three touchdowns (although that action came against Big Blue’s backups). Jets head coach Todd Bowles is expected to announce the club’s starting quarterback early this week, with Petty, Josh McCown, and Christian Hackenberg among those in contention for the job.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Bengals

Bills head coach Sean McDermott admitted it’s a “fair question” as to whether Buffalo would have traded Sammy Watkins had they known fellow wide receiver Anquan Boldin would soon retire, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com (multiple links). Although McDermott referred to the two transactions as “separate entities,” Boldin announced his retirement just four days after the Bills shipped Watkins to the Rams for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a second-round selection. Of course, Buffalo also acquired pass-catcher Jordan Matthews on the same day it traded Watkins, and the Bills are “always” examining upgrades at wide receiver, per McDermott.

More from Buffalo and two other AFC cities:

  • The season-ending injury to cornerback Tony Lippett will have consequences for the Dolphins not only for the upcoming season, but for the 2018 campaign, argues Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Lippett, a collegiate wide receiver, had taken a massive leap as a defensive back in 2016, playing nearly three-quarters of Miami’s defensive snaps. While Lippett’s development may have allowed the Dolphins to release Byron Maxwell next spring (clearing his $10MM cap charge), the club may not have that option given the uncertainty surrounding Lippett’s health.
  • Reporters peppered Bills linebacker Reggie Ragland with questions on Tuesday about whether he’s a trade candidate, according to Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News. As one would expect, Ragland suggested that he’s not worried about rumors and noted that he’s “got to keep getting better,” though it’s nonetheless an open question as to whether he’s a fit in the Bills’ defense. The Bills chose Ragland in the second round of the 2016 draft after a costly trade up, but he missed his rookie season with a torn ACL and is now under the thumb of a new administration in Buffalo. The Doug WhaleyRex Ryan duo responsible for the Ragland pick is gone, as is the Bills’ previous 3-4 scheme. Ragland has languished in a third-team role in Buffalo’s 4-3 alignment this preseason under Ryan’s replacement, McDermott, leading Pro Football Rumors’ Dallas Robinson to observe last week that the ex-Alabama star could be in another uniform soon.
  • Bengals cornerback Adam Jonesone-game suspension is now official, ESPN’s Field Yates tweets. The 33-year-old’s ban, which the league handed down in July, came after he was charged with three misdemeanors and a felony stemming from a January arrest. Jones was able to avoid jail time and a lengthy suspension after pleading guilty to a lesser offense. He’ll miss the Bengals’ season opener against AFC North rival Baltimore.

Dallas Robinson and Connor Byrne contributed to this post.

Extra Points: Pats, Cowboys, Panthers, Bills

Newly-acquired defensive end Kony Ealy is in a “legitimate fight” to earn a place on the Patriots roster, opines Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Thought to be a contender for a starting job (especially following Rob Ninkovich‘s retirement), Ealy has been practicing with New England’s reserves, per Reiss, who indicates Ealy simply “hasn’t clicked” since joining the defending Super Bowl champions. The Patriots essentially got Ealy for free from the Panthers, as they moved down only eight picks in the draft to pick up the 25-year-old. He’s signed through the 2017 season, but his $800K salary isn’t guaranteed.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Alfred Morris played ahead of Rod Smith during the Cowboys‘ Hall of Game exhibition last week despite having seen fewer carries than Smith during training camp, leading Todd Archer of ESPN.com to wonder if Dallas was showcasing Morris for a potential trade. Reports in March indicated the Cowboys were likely to shop Morris, who is behind Ezekiel Elliott, Darren McFadden, and Smith on the backfield depth chart, but his salary ($1.2MM) could prove a hindrance. Plus, with Elliott likely to serve a league-mandated suspension, Morris’ presence on the roster could become all the more important. In his first season in Dallas, Morris managed 69 carries for 243 yards and two touchdowns.
  • Second-year defensive tackle Vernon Butler is believed to have escaped with only a knee sprain after leaving the Panthers‘ first preseason game on Wednesday, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Butler will undergo an MRI today, but even a sprain could lead to a multi-week absence, meaning Butler may not be ready for the regular season opener. The 30th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Butler is expected to serve as Carolina’s third interior defender behind Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei. Butler played 21% of the Panthers’ defensive snaps a season ago.
  • Expected to battle for a starting role, Bills linebacker Reggie Ragland is now playing with the club’s third-team defense, and is now behind both Preston Brown and free agent addition Gerald Hodges on Buffalo’s depth chart, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. As such, it’s conceivable the 2016 second-round draft pick could become a trade candidate, Rodak opines. Ragland not only missed the entirety of his rookie campaign with a torn ACL, but was selected by the Bills’ prior regime. Neither general manager Brandon Beane nor head coach Sean McDermott has any link to Ragland, so the 23-year-old could be on the block.
  • The Cardinals worked out punter Brock Miller on Wednesday, reports Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link). Miller, a former undrafted free agent out of Southern Utah, has been on the NFL workout circuit for much of the past three years. He signed a reserve/futures contract with San Francisco earlier this year, but was waived in May. Arizona sifted through three punters in 2016, and while Matt Wile is currently the incumbent, Richie Leone is also on the roster.

Bills Cut 9, Down To 75

The Bills released nine players on their way to the 75-man limit. Here’s the full rundown.

Released:

Reserve/PUP:

Waived/Injured:

Reserve/NFI:

  • WR Kolby Listenbee

Reserve/Injured:

  • LB Reggie Ragland