No. 3: Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs
Yes, the Kansas City Chiefs ranked first in total sacks in 2018 (52), but their defense was still terrible. And with just under $27 million in available cap space this offseason, the Chiefs will have to think long and hard about whether or not they want to re-sign pending free agents Dee Ford and Justin Houston.
Technically, Houston is still under contract with Kansas City. But as FanSided’s Matt Verderame pointed out, the Chiefs would likely have to part ways with Houston if they want to pin their future on Ford:
"Should the Chiefs tag Ford, it probably means the end of Justin Houston, who has a $21 million cap hit. Houston could be released for a $14 million savings in 2019. While a restructured deal could bring that number down, Houston would likely opt for free agency where he can get multiple guaranteed years."
Houston, 30 years old, would be the likeliest of the two to hit the market over the younger Ford (27 years old), should that happen. The former managed nine-plus sacks for Kansas City in each of the last two seasons, and he’s still capable of flashing efforts from his 22-sack All-Pro campaign back in 2014.
While he’s lost a step or two since those heyday years, there’s little doubt he could provide an impact. Remember, he was responsible for a forced strip-sack fumble against quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo back in Week 3 last year. And that kind of edge-rushing prowess should help a 49ers team that finished dead last in defensive takeaways in 2018.