A trade market for Chiefs pass rusher Dee Ford is apparently beginning to materialize. To no one's surprise, two teams that figure to enter the upcoming season as playoff contenders are reportedly in the mix for Ford, who was .
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, both the Packers and 49ers are "expressing interest" in Ford. The Green Bay Press-Gazette's Ryan Wood confirmed the Packers' aspect of Rapoport's report, adding that the Packers "would love to get him."
Hearing same thing regarding #Packers’ interest in Dee Ford. One source told me they “would love to get him.” But he won’t be cheap. Will be interesting to see how much they’re willing to part with one offseason after losing out on the Khalil Mack sweepstakes. https://t.co/D5QWu65grP— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) March 9, 2019
Ford, who is coming off a 13-sack season, would need to sign the franchise tender before he can be traded. If the Packers or 49ers (or any other team that wants to trade for him) is willing to give him a long-term deal after trading for him, it seems likely that Ford would sign the tag to facilitate a trade.
Even before the Chiefs officially tagged Ford, it was reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter that he was a tag-and-trade candidate. While Ford performed like an elite pass rusher this past season, he hasn't been the most consistent player throughout his career. In only two of his five seasons, he's managed to reach a double-digit sack total. In all, Ford is averaging only 6.1 sacks per season.
So what could the Chiefs get for Ford? Here's the menu they'd be working with:
Considering how deep the upcoming draft is in terms of pass rushers, it might be difficult for the Chiefs to find a suitable trade partner. If they don't get blown away with any offers, it might make mores sense for them to let him play a season on the tag. The Chiefs are in the middle of their Super Bowl window and Ford can help them in their pursuit of winning a championship next season, even if he's not the kind of player the Chiefs want to commit long-term money to -- not with Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Chris Jones all needing expensive extensions in the future.
The Packers make sense as a landing spot because they're in need of help on the edge and they're in the middle of their Super Bowl window with Aaron Rodgers. Before the 2018 season, before . Ford almost certainly wouldn't be as expensive as Mack or as impactful as Mack, but he would immediately become the best pass rusher on the Packers' roster.
Even though they're coming off a 4-12 season -- their fourth-straight finish below .500 -- the 49ers are also operating as if they're in the middle of their championship window with Jimmy Garoppolo returning from a torn ACL. The 49ers own a ton of cap space, but they won't get a chance to sign the best edge rushers, all of whom have been franchise tagged. But the 49ers do own the second pick in the draft, which they could use on an edge rusher like Josh Allen or if Kyler Murray goes No. 1 overall, Nick Bosa. That might be the smarter way to address their pass rush, which netted only 37 sacks a year ago.