No. 2: SF 49ers EDGE Dee Ford
Average Salary per Year: $17,000,000
While the Weston Richburg deal has looked so-so at best, the 2019 trade for former Kansas City Chiefs EDGE Dee Ford has looked awful in comparison.
Yes, Ford was an essential piece to San Francisco’s lethal pass rush last year, pairing with then-rookie EDGE Nick Bosa to create a potent one-two tandem. But injuries limited Ford to just 11 regular-season games, and he saw just 22 percent of the SF 49ers’ defensive snaps in 2019.
And after playing in just one game in 2020, his snap count this season has accounted for a mere seven percent, decreasing steadily each week with Ford not having any timetable for a return after a back injury landed him on injured reserve after Week 1.
When healthy, Ford has been prolific. The Niners wouldn’t have extended and then restructured his contract if he wasn’t.
The problem, though, is Ford carries a max cap hit of more than $20 million in each of the next three seasons, making him an oft-injured and seldom-available player eating up a massive chunk of San Francisco’s cap space.
Like Richburg, moving on from Ford will be tricky, either via the way of a trade or a post-June 1 cap-casualty move, saving $16 million in 2021 against a more-workable $4.78 million.
Getting Ford to fit under the top-51 contracts at the league new year will be tough unless the SF 49ers execute the following move-on from a high-priced player.