Dee Ford is On the Trade Block, But 49ers Will Struggle to Find a Buyer

Ryan Phillips
Dee Ford plays for the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV
Dee Ford plays for the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV / Focus On Sport/Getty Images

Dee Ford is reportedly on the trade block as the San Francisco 49ers are looking to cut payroll and get more flexible. Unfortunately for the Niners, the five-year, $87.5 million deal they handed Ford last offseason makes it unlikely anyone will trade for him.

The 49ers are facing a serious salary cap crunch; they'll need to figure out an extension for All-Pro tight end George Kittle in short order and, eventually, lock up defensive end Nick Bosa. That leaves the team looking at several players as expendable.

The 49ers sent a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for Ford, then handed him the aforementioned massive contract. Ford struggled during his first season with the team, playing in 11 games and battling various injuries throughout the season. His left knee has been a problem for years and it certainly held him back in 2019. He finished the campaign with 14 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. That's a meager return on the investment San Francisco made.

Ford is 29 and there is an out in his contract after the 2020 season, which might make him more appetizing to anyone looking to trade. But he's owed roughly $13.6 million in base salary coming off a season where he was injured and struggled to perform. An aging defensive end with a bad knee coming off a down year? That's not going to get the Niners much in return.

Unless Bill O'Brien gets his hands on a telephone, there's little chance the 49ers can actually move Ford this offseason. They'll probably have to hang on to him and let him go after the 2020 season.