The 49ers are in trade talks with the Kansas City Chiefs surrounding franchise pass rusher Dee Ford, according to multiple reports.
Getting Ford, who was given the franchise tag this month for $15.4 million guaranteed for 2019, would cost San Francisco a 2020 second-round pick, according to The MMQB. Per the report, the teams have “agreed to parameters on a deal” that would send Ford to help San Francisco’s pass rush-starved defense.
The deal is predicated on Ford and his representatives working out a long-term extension with the 49ers. ESPN is reporting the deal could be worth $87.5 million over five seasons.
Ford, 27, has had an up-and-down career. He had his best season in 2018 with 13 sacks and an NFL-leading seven forced fumbles. He was a key member of a Chiefs defense that tied for the league lead with 52 sacks in the regular season on its way to the AFC title game, which Kansas City lost to the New England Patriots 37-31.
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Ford made a crucial mistake in that game when he lined up offside, negating a potential game-clinching interception with a minute remaining.
Kansas City is changing defensive schemes under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and re-working its defensive front. The team recently released pass rusher Justin Houston, who had 18.5 sacks over the past two seasons.
Ford was drafted 23rd overall in 2014 and combined for 5.5 sacks in his first two seasons. His first double-digit campaign came the following year, when he logged 10. He missed 10 games the next season due to a back injury.
The 49ers badly need to upgrade their pass rush and are expected to make multiple additions along the edges of the defensive line. They have the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft, which they could use on pass rushers such as Ohio State’s Nick Bosa or Kentucky’s Josh Allen.
San Francisco ranked 28th in the NFL, allowing 27.2 points per game, and set NFL records in futility with seven takeaways and two interceptions.