3 teams who should aggressively pursue a trade for Chiefs’ pass rusher Dee Ford
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford had an excellent season in 2019. He totaled 55 tackles, seven forced fumbles, 13 tackles for loss, and 13.0 sacks.
Pro Football Focus gave him an 87.7 rating, ranking him 11th in the league among pass rushers. He was one reason why the Chiefs had an excellent pass rush.
Even though they did allow 26.3 points per game, they mostly gave up points on the ground. Their front seven was excellent at putting pressure at the point of attack, but wasn’t great at plugging gaps up.
The Chiefs have reportedly looked for teams to take on Ford. They are switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense under new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, and Ford is not a great fit for it.
Kansas City franchise tagged Ford this past Monday. He will likely make $15.4 million on the tag if he signs it. Despite being franchise tagged, reports have surfaced that Kansas City will entertain trade offers for Ford.
All of that being said, here are three teams who should aggressively pursue a trade for the star pass rusher.
3. Atlanta Falcons
Last season, the Falcons disappointed on defense. Their defense allowed 26.4 points per game, which was the seventh worst in the entire league. Their star pass rusher, Vic Beasley, seemed to have hit a wall. He only started nine games and only collected five sacks on the season. PFF ranked their front seven 23rd overall out of all NFL squads.
They fired their defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel and gave their head coach Dan Quinn the defensive play-calling duties. Quinn runs a 3-4 that he sharpened during his time with Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks.
Bringing in Ford makes a lot of sense. He fits in as an outside linebacker who can blitz off the edge. The Falcons could really use that presence at the point of attack.
2. Detroit Lions
The Lions struggled to gain consistency on defense in 2018. They allowed 22.5 points per game, which ranked 16th overall in the entire NFL. They didn’t have any pass rushers outside for the defense to take the next step.
Pro Football Focus ranked their front seven second to last in the league. The only player with a positive impact seemed to be Da”Shawn Hand, who only started eight games. He wasn’t even fully utilized by the team. The only player with more than five sacks was linebacker Devon Kennard with seven.
Ford could come straight into the Lions scheme and make a big impact. They desperately need a player to put pressure on the opposing quarterback.
1. Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders had one of the worst defenses in the league, hands down. PFF ranked their front seven last across the entire league. They totaled only 13 sacks on the season.
Head coach Jon Gruden traded away Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears before the season started. This really was a blow to the defensive core and made many question Gruden’s decision making.
Trading for Dee Ford is a perfect fit. They already are going to both draft and sign free agents to fill in depth. They have plenty of assets and could very well use draft picks to pick him up.