San Francisco 49ers: Ranking the 10 worst trades in franchise history

Dee Ford #55 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Dee Ford #55 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Dee Ford, SF 49ers
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dee Ford (55) Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 4: Dee Ford trade handcuffs the 49ers

There’s no doubting EDGE Dee Ford was a significant part of the 49ers making it to the Super Bowl in 2019.

While Ford only appeared on 22 percent of the defense’s snaps that year and was healthy for just 11 regular-season games, the Niners’ pass-rushing depth that season was a key component, and Ford’s presence on the field made a massive difference in the team securing a total of 48 sacks, Ford getting 6.5 of them.

San Francisco acquired Ford from the Kansas City Chiefs the previous offseason, sending away a second-round draft pick before subsequently inking the pass-rusher to a five-year, $85 million extension after he had a career-best season in 2018.

A dangerous move. And one that came back to haunt the 49ers not long afterward.

Ford missed all but one game in 2020 while dealing with multiple injuries, most notably a back injury, and those setbacks put his 2021 campaign in serious doubt. What made things worse is the contract carried an injury guarantee that prevented the Niners from simply cutting him and making him a cap casualty in 2021.

Set to earn over $20 million in 2021 with no guarantee he’d even be available to play makes this deal one of the worst moves John Lynch executed during his tenure.