The entire NFL world is now aware that the Kansas City Chiefs are shopping the player they franchise tagged earlier this month. Pass rusher Dee Ford could be on his way out of Kansas City for the right price, but what is that price?
Typically, a player who registered 13 sacks for a Super Bowl contender might warrant a first-round pick. However, media speculation seems to suggest the Chiefs will accept less for Ford. In a Sports Illustrated column on Monday, Albert Breer said the Chiefs would take a second-round pick for the 27-year-old linebacker.
According to Peter King’s weekend column for ProFootballTalk, the Chiefs might even take less than that to ship Ford away. King guessed that Kansas City would accept a second-round pick or even a high third-round pick in a draft that is heavy with defensive line talent.
The Chiefs have four picks in the first three rounds of the draft already, so trading Ford could give them plenty of options in April. They could even use some of those picks to trade up in the first round and get a top defensive prospect.
Kansas City struggled defensively last year. The Chiefs defense finished near the bottom of the league in both rushing and passing yards allowed, and its inability to stop the New England Patriots in the AFC title game is one of the reasons why the AFC’s top seed did not make it to the Super Bowl.
Ford was one of its bright spots, though, which is why it may seem strange for Kansas City to trade him immediately after a 13-sack season. He is considered a liability against the run and would potentially not fit well in new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s 4-3 scheme. Kansas City already got rid of Ford’s pass rushing partner Justin Houston, so a total overhaul of the front seven may not be out of the question.
His trade value could be affected by his health and his consistency. He has only accumulated double-digit sacks in two of his five seasons, and missed most of the 2017 season with a serious back injury. He had previously injured his back earlier in his career, as well.
Still, Ford had his best season in 2018 and teams will likely express interest in him. The two teams that have been specifically named as potential suitors for Ford are the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers. Both need help with their pass rushes and both are in the NFC, which might be appealing to the Chiefs.