4 teams that may ‘kick tires’ on Dee Ford when 49ers release him

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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The 49ers are likely readying themselves to release EDGE Dee Ford, whose injuries have been disappointing, but these teams may be interested in signing him.

There’s an awfully strong chance veteran EDGE Dee Ford has played his last snap with the San Francisco 49ers.

One of the Niners’ prized trade acquisitions in 2019 from the Kansas City Chiefs, Ford’s tenure with the red and gold is going to be remembered more for injuries and “what could have beens” rather than on-field production, although his 6.5 sacks during his first year with San Francisco ultimately helped get the team to the Super Bowl.

Nevertheless, chronic back injuries held Ford to just one game played in 2020 and only six more in 2021, forcing a restructure entering 2022 that gives the 49ers a bit easier of an out but will still cost over $5.8 million in dead money this season, according to Over the Cap.

Painful, but probably not as painful as looking at how much Ford made per snap during his Niners tenure.

At any rate, there’s a chance Ford could retire once San Francisco ultimately pulls the plug, a decision head coach Kyle Shanahan effectively announced earlier this offseason.

If Ford still wants to play, though, the 31-year-old pass-rusher could feasibly field some interest from one of these four teams, particularly if it’s on a bargain-basement deal.

Dee Ford suitor No. 4: Arizona Cardinals

One of the boxes Ford will likely want to check if he’s able to sign a new contract after his time is up with the 49ers is whether or not the new team is a playoff contender.

Last year, the Arizona Cardinals got off to a hot start but crumbled down the stretch, and it’s safe to argue their offseason wasn’t too kind, especially on the defensive side of the ball after losing Pro Bowl EDGE Chandler Jones to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Sure, aging defensive tackle J.J. Watt is still in the mix. Like Ford, though, he’s always injured. And while the Cardinals tried getting fellow EDGE Markus Golden some help via the NFL Draft, grabbing San Diego State’s Cameron Thomas and Cincinnati’s Myjai Sanders, those players have a long way to go before they’re bona fide pass-rushers.

Adding Ford on the cheap might be a low-risk, high-reward solution for an Arizona team looking to make up for Jones’ departure, and having that kind of rotation with Ford in the mix alongside Golden and a couple of rookies could help keep the Cardinals in contention within a still-tough NFC West.