Let’s start with the positives.
Dee Ford will significantly improve the 49ers’ pass rush for the next few years when healthy.
He’s only 27.
He has the explosiveness and flexibility the 49ers want from their edge-rushers.
His pass-rush production last season was as good as almost anyone’s.
Plus, he’s the best edge-rusher the 49ers have had since Aldon Smith, and should complement DeForest Buckner quite well.
Now, the negatives.
Ford has been a 3-4 outside linebacker his entire career, so he’ll have to learn a new position. He doesn’t defend the run well. He comes from a defense that fired its defensive coordinator and ranked 31st and yards allowed and 24th in points allowed. He comes from a team that would rather have a second-round pick in 2020 than him. And he has produced only one elite season — 2018.
And yet, the 49ers traded a second-round pick for him and made him one of the highest-paid players in the NFL. Like most of their moves, it seems they made this one in semi-panic. The 49ers reportedly were interested in trading for Odell Beckham Jr.. He seemed to be their Plan A. After they signed Kwon Alexander, they didn’t sign anyone else. They merely made a half-hearted attempt to sign cornerback Bradley Roby before the Texans signed him. The 49ers presumably wanted to wait for the Giants to trade Beckham before spending more big money.
At 4:58 Tuesday afternoon, the Giants traded Beckham to the Browns. Exactly 20 minutes later the 49ers traded for Dee Ford. This felt like a knee-jerk reaction to missing out on Beckham.
The 49ers’ coaches should feel ecstatic they got a quality player. John Lynch should feel worried that the Chiefs may have taken advantage of his desperation to make a move.
Disclaimer: If you love this move, don’t let me change your mind. Enjoy it. Be a fan.