As an athlete, there are some moves that a fanbase may never forgive. For Chiefs Kingdom, that involves making the switch over to a black and silver uniform.
The Las Vegas Raiders have been a bitter rival of the Kansas City Chiefs for a long time — and that rivalry spans beyond the game of football. You see, the Oakland Athletics baseball organization was originally a Kansas City franchise that skipped town before being replaced by the Royals.
The two MLB teams were immediate division rivals and the Raiders and Chiefs were not far behind after a pivotal 1968 playoff game and a trade fleecing that sparked the football side of things. 54 years later, that competitive hatred has only grown.
Joining the Raiders might be considered a cardinal sin to some of Arrowhead’s finest and ex-linebacker Reggie Ragland is right on the doorstep of a grave error in judgment.
Reggie Ragland Visits With Raiders
First reported by ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler, “veteran free agent ILB Reggie Ragland is visiting with Raiders, per source.”
He logged eight tackles and one tackle for a loss during that postseason run and took a deal with Detroit the following spring. Per Charles Goldman of Chiefs Wire, the Ragland trade was “one of the first moves that Brett Veach made when he took over for John Dorsey as general manager of the Chiefs.”
That swap sent a fourth-round pick to the Buffalo Bills, who Ragland never actually played a snap for after a torn ACL during his rookie training camp. Now the linebacker is 28 years old — 29 on September 23 — and is coming off a nine-start campaign with the New York Giants where he registered 67 total tackles (two for a loss) and one fumble recovery.
The Raiders could certainly use some veteran depth at the position after placing Tae Davis and Micah Kiser on the injured reserve.
Will the Raiders Build on Their 2021 Postseason Berth?
You might say that Las Vegas was a surprise playoff team in 2021. The Raiders snuck in right at the buzzer, defeating the Los Angeles Chargers in overtime on January 9.
This offseason, they’ve gotten better adding WR Davante Adams and EDGE Chandler Jones among others. That would lead one to believe that they should make the postseason once again, right?
Not exactly — Las Vegas currently has fourth-ranked +650 odds to win the AFC West according to Bookies.com with an over/under of 8.5 wins. Their odds to reach the playoffs are +150. So, what gives?
It’s all about the competition within the AFC and that’s where Kansas City comes in. This is a friendly reminder that 2022 could be an absolute royal rumble on this side of the league.
The arms race happened this spring and now we finally get to see how things shake out over the next four months or so. Kansas City, Buffalo, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Las Vegas, Tennessee, Miami, Indianapolis, New England. Depending on who you ask, any one of these teams could be considered a legitimate AFC contender.
Clearly, the west is the hotbed this time around. All four teams have a shot and those rivalry games will be even more important than they usually are.