49ers, Chiefs agree to terms on Dee Ford deal

Virginia Santiago
March 16, 2019

Moving Ford for that pick is a massive deal, and not just because within minutes of the deal getting done, the 49ers reportedly gave Ford a massive $87.5 million extension over the next five years.

The Chiefs have been working on finding a new home for Ford even after giving him the franchise tag, which meant he was going to spend one more season with the Chiefs at a preset contractual amount of over $15 million.

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The 27-year-old represents a major upgrade for a 49ers defensive front in search of edge-rush talent to complement its impressive crop of players on the interior. He also led the league with 35 knockdowns, a combination of sacks plus hits. After missing several games with injuries throughout the course of his career, Ford played all 16 weeks for the first time since his rookie season. It's unlikely Ford would be used in these packages as a "Leo" defensive end or "Sam" linebacker. Given that his productivity in those games wasn't great, we chose to get in touch with someone who's watched every game Ford has ever played. With SAM being the 49ers traditional outside linebacker, this would suit Ford fine in passing situations.

Last season, Ford finally became the player the Chiefs had envisioned when they drafted him out of Auburn in the first round in 2014. It's a 4-3 scheme that lines up like a 3-4 in base downs, with five men along the line of scrimmage and two inside linebackers off the ball.

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"You have to have a guy who can close out games, close out halves", general manager John Lynch said at the combine when talking about the need for better pass rushers. The 49ers could still use Solomon Thomas, who is good against the run, and Malcolm Smith at those spots.

No statistics were more emblematic of the 49ers' defensive struggles in 2018 than setting National Football League records for the fewest takeaways (seven) and interceptions (two). But they had questions about how he'd fit in new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's defense and chose to trade him instead of paying him $15.4 million for this season.

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And, with the possibility of the 49ers picking up EDGE Nick Bosa in the 2019 NFL Draft, that adds further implications to the final starting lineup. The moves they make to get it headed in the other direction will be very interesting.

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