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Chiefs rumors: Kansas City could elect to franchise tag Dee Ford

The Kansas City Chiefs are not ready to move on from Dee Ford. But the star pass-rusher’s long-term future with the organization is in limbo nonetheless, as it decides how to best manage Ford’s free agency while retaining as much cap flexibility as possible.

ESPN’s Adam Teicher believes that Ford is most likely to play out the 2019 season on the franchise tag.

“Look for the Chiefs to tag Ford,” he writes, “absent a long-term deal.”

Tagging Ford would cost Kansas City about $15 million worth of the salary cap. Before the playoffs, Ford indicated he’d be happy with that outcome, saying:

 “If someone offers you $20 million, would you take it? No-brainer right there.”

The five-year pro was named a Pro Bowler for the first time after a breakout 2018 campaign. Ford had 13 sacks last season, second on the Chiefs and tied for seventh-most in the league. He also generated 77 pressures, according to Pro Football Focus, more than any other edge rusher in football.

Kansas City’s problems on defense last season were widespread, and general manager Brett Veach has made no secret of his plans to overhaul the team’s defensive personnel before the 2019 season.

Veteran coach Steve Spagnuolo replaced longtime defensive coordinator Bob Sutton shortly after the Chiefs’ frustrating overtime loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game, and the team might also move on from veteran outside linebacker Justin Houston, who played well in 2018 but could be cut nevertheless because doing so would save Kansas City approximately $14 million in cap room.

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