Earlier this month the Kansas City Chiefs placed the franchise tag on defensive end Dee Ford with the idea in mind that they were going to try and find a trade partner. Well, that has happened. The Chiefs are going to be trading Ford to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2020 second-round pick.
Ford is probably best-known for lining up offsides late in the fourth quarter of the AFC title game last season against the Patriots that nullified what would’ve been a game-sealing interception, but outside of that one play Dee Ford is a really good player. He rated as the number 11 edge rusher in the league this past season according to Pro Football Focus, racking up 13 sacks and hitting the quarterback 29 times.
As part of this deal, Ford and the 49ers have also come to terms on a five-year extension for the Pro-Bowler that is worth $87.5 million.
San Francisco already has a pretty good defensive line, anchored by DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead, so adding Ford to that unit will make them even more difficult for opposing offensive lines to deal with.
San Francisco will still need to upgrade in the secondary in my opinion, but they should have an improved defense this season just based on getting Armstead back for a full season and now adding Dee Ford to the fold.
The Niners also have the number two overall pick in the draft, which they could use to boost their defense even more, or they could potentially trade back and try and add to the offense to help out Jimmy Garoppolo as he comes back from his ACL injury.
For the Chiefs this move doesn’t make too much sense in my opinion. They are going to make some adjustments schematically to their defense and he may not fit into those as well as Steve Spagnuolo is likely going to transition more to a 4-3 defense, but there are just other places they can go on their team in my opinion to clear cap space.
For example, they could clear a lot of cap space by moving on from Sammy Watkins and Eric Berry, who are the teams two highest-paid players and if they did that they’d only be responsible for $15 million in dead cap total. They are likely going to move on from Berry anyways with the signing of Tyrann Mathieu, but ultimately it could’ve just come down to a scheme fit and they didn’t want to pay what Ford commands for someone who doesn’t fit their scheme.
A second-round pick is a nice asset and while it’s not in this seasons draft, I think it’s fair compensation for Ford.
I really love this move for the 49ers and I think the Chiefs got fair compensation for Dee Ford, but despite what might be a lack of scheme fit, I’m not sure about giving up a player of Dee Ford’s caliber especially on a defense that really struggled last season.
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