Sports

Why 49ers' Ford isn't defined by AFC Championship gaffe

Why 49ers' Ford isn't defined by AFC Championship gaffe

The 49ers are in trade talks with the Kansas City Chiefs surrounding franchise pass rusher Dee Ford, according to multiple reports.

San Francisco will send a 2020 second-round pick to Kansas City, a source confirmed. He has spent his entire National Football League career in a 3-4 defense as an outside linebacker and a primary reason Kansas City reportedly wanted to trade him was because it was unsure how he'd fit in new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's 4-3 scheme, particularly against the run.

Former Patriot Trey Flowers, 25, reportedly agreed to a five-year, $90 million contract with the Lions in free agency, with an AAV of $18 million per season. Ford was rated as the top edge rusher by Pro Football Focus previous year, and you don't let that kind of talent go voluntarily.

Yahoo! Sports' Terez Paylor also reported the news.

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To improve last season's 31st-ranked defense, the Chiefs, under the direction of general manager Brett Veach and coach Andy Reid, felt they needed to switch schemes and modify their personnel.

Ford started all 16 games for the first time in his career and had a career-high 13 sacks.

San Francisco also holds the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft, which could still allow them to find a pass-rushing tag-team partner for Ford. The one-year franchise tag for linebackers is worth $15,443,000 in 2019. He missed 10 games the next season due to a back injury. The Chiefs are making significant defensive shifts this offseason, and the primary losses have been the team's two outside pass rushers in Ford and Justin Houston. They've addressed that need with their reported trade for Ford, and done so without emptying their cupboards of assets.

Ford would likely play SAM linebacker in the 49ers' base defense, then moved down to defensive end in sub packages.