That impasse apparently cleared Tuesday, with Ford and the 49ers reportedly agreeing on a five-year deal worth $87.5 million.
Ford racked up 13 sacks and a league-high 7 forced fumbles in 16 games for the Chiefs in 2018. But they had questions about how he'd fit in new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's defense and made a decision to trade him instead of paying him $15.4 million for this season. Ford long battled the perception that he was an underwhelming first-round pick in Kansas City (23rd overall in 2014). But the 49ers didn't pressure the quarterback enough, exposing a lackluster secondary that was also banged up throughout the season, particularly at safety. Now obviously they have needs at pass rusher now, but it shows that the Chiefs new defensive regime led by Steve Spagnuolo is ready to get the guys they see fit in there right away.
Trading Ford frees up about $15.4 million in cap space.
The Kansas City Chiefs settled on an interesting strategy to improve their hapless defense.
Landing a star player like Ford is going to make a huge difference for a team like San Francisco on the defensive side of the football, and while Los Angeles will continue to be the early favorites in the division, it's trades like this that show they need to be extra cautious. It's a 4-3 defense with essentially 3-4 personnel.
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The 49ers entered the offseason looking for a premium edge rusher. Last year, Solomon Thomas mostly started at leo, but he either left the field on passing downs or moved inside to defensive tackle in nickel situations.
Namely regarding defensive ends Solomon Thomas and Arik Armstead. That plays into the idea that the Niners are trying to win too - they don't want to give up a top-40 pick this year in exchange for Ford, but will gamble on next season's pick.
49ers reporter Joe Fann recently stated at the NFL Scouting Combine that, according to Shanahan, "Armstead is likely to be used as an outside rusher on run downs and as an inside rusher on pass downs".
According to multiple reports, Kansas City received a second-round pick in the 2020 draft. I think we're also looking for powerful players.