49ers 2020 ‘Who Is?’ series: Dee Ford in final year with Niners?

Dee Ford #55 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Dee Ford #55 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Dee Ford, 49ers
Dee Ford #55 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Why Dee Ford regresses with 49ers in 2020

One of the other worries surrounding Dee Ford, particularly with his injury last year, is it might be something chronic, which is what he admitted via CBS Local:

"Anytime you’re dealing with a chronic issue, you’re always on the clock. I know exactly what I felt like last year. Doing the things that I’m doing now is like night and day. We’ll just play it by ear once everything gets going. We haven’t really had an offseason. No one’s really been in competition. It’s just hard to measure exactly where we’re at."

The NFL’s odd offseason amid COVID-19 could hamper Ford’s recovery process, too, as there haven’t been the regularly scheduled minicamps and spring workouts. Delays and changes to training camp could ultimately mean Ford’s “football legs” won’t return for some time either.

Yet there are other concerns, too, particularly looking at Ford’s career-best year preceded by modest campaigns in 2014, 2015 and 2017. It’s almost as if Ford is a “boom or bust” defender, whose yearly seasons either produce fantastic Pro Bowl-worthy results or not much of anything to justify a lucrative contract.

By those standards, Ford’s 2019 efforts were good, at least when he was on the field. But considering the best ability is availability, one can also worry about how much of an effect his knee injury will have on his career moving forward.

More importantly, it’s a question whether or not the 49ers want to stay committed to him.