Dee Ford Has Been a Massive Bust for the 49ers

Ryan Phillips
Dee Ford, Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Dee Ford, Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Focus On Sport/Getty Images
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Dee Ford hasn't seen the field for San Francisco 49ers since Week 1 due to a back injury. On Tuesday, Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan said he doesn't expect Ford to play this season. Since arriving in San Francisco back in 2019, he's been an enormous bust, and bringing him in was general manager John Lynch's biggest miss so far.

In 2018, Ford finally broke out for the Kansas City Chiefs. The former first-round pick finally put it all together in his fifth season, recording 13 sacks and forcing a league-high seven fumbles. The Chiefs franchise-tagged him at the start of the offseason, but didn't seem to be intent on keeping him around.

Three days after being franchise tagged, the 49ers acquired Ford via trade. San Francisco sent a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to the Chiefs, and signed the defensive end to a five-year, $87.5 million deal with $19.75 million guaranteed. He's never come close to living up to it.

In his first season with the Niners, Ford played in 11 games, totaling 14 tackles, 6.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. He added a sack in the postseason. In 2020, he played in just one game and had three tackles and no sacks.

Even with the restructuring of Ford's contract in September, his deal is still a massive miss for the 49ers. There is an out in his contract this offseason, but if they cut him this offseason they'll have to absorb $14.355 million in dead cap space.

The Ford trade and contract have both been the biggest black mark on Lynch's time as San Francisco's general manager. It's going to continue to impact the team for a while.

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