49ers roster: 6 players who could be gone after 2021

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, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Dee Ford (55) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 4: 49ers EDGE Dee Ford

Despite the 49ers restructuring his contract, EDGE Dee Ford remains at a crossroads heading into 2021, and the Niners are essentially handcuffed to him this season anyway.

Ford, whose back injury kept him out of all but one game last year, is still anything but guaranteed to be healthy enough to play at the start of 2021, and there’s the chance he misses the entire campaign altogether.

Either way, San Francisco is scheduled to dish out up to $8.9 million for Ford regardless, per Over the Cap.

The 49ers appear comfortable with that number for now. But with their attempts to revamp the pass rush elsewhere on the roster, the expectation is they’ll move on in 2022 from a financial and health standpoint.

Should the Niners part ways with Ford early next year, they’d save $2.09 million in cap space but with $9.8 million in dead money. A post-June 1 cut next season, however, would generate $7 million in cap space with $4.9 million in dead money.

A slightly better situation to be had later during the summer.

Granted, Ford could turn this scenario on its head if he returns fully healthy, and a net 2022 cap hit of $11.9 million isn’t terrible for a top-level pass-rusher if he’s contributing a lot.

Considering his health and how much he’s been on the field the last two years, however, it’s hard to see that happening.