The Kansas City Chiefs had one of the NFL’s worst defenses in 2018. Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s unit was routinely unable to stop the run or the pass, an affliction that ultimately led to an overtime loss in the AFC Championship Game and Sutton’s dismissal after the season.

However, the Chiefs did lead the league in sacks, with 13 of them coming courtesy of outside linebacker Dee Ford. KC used the franchise tag on Ford last week, but there has been plenty of speculation that the team could trade him to free up precious salary cap room and find pass rushers who fit new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s 4-3 scheme.

According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, at least two teams are interested in Ford’s services. Rapoport reported on Saturday that the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers had expressed interest in trading for Ford, who will earn $15 million this season playing under the tag.



Both teams are natural destinations for Ford, should the Chiefs choose to part ways with their former first-round pick. Green Bay tied for eighth in the NFL in sacks last season, but with veteran Clay Matthews entering free agency and questions about Nick Perry’s durability, they need an infusion of talent.

A headline-making trade could be one way to keep the Packers in contention with QB Aaron Rodgers turning 36 during the 2019 season.

The 49ers, on the other hand, had an unremarkable pass rush in 2019. They tied for 22nd in the league in sacks and need defensive playmakers if they want to contend in a talented NFC West for the first time in years. Both the 49ers and Packers have ample salary cap room to work with, too.

Unfortunately for both of these teams, they might need to offer a first-round pick or a similarly enticing package to get Ford. He has not been consistent throughout his career, but his performance in 2018 likely drove up the asking price for Chiefs GM Brett Veach. KC will look to rebuild its defense in the offseason and might not think it is worth it to trade away one of its few standout defenders without adequate compensation.

If the Chiefs do trade Ford this offseason, it may likely be to an NFC team. Kansas City does not play the 49ers in the regular season for another four years, but they do play the Packers at Arrowhead Stadium in 2019.

dee ford trade Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers is hit by outside linebacker Dee Ford #55 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the game at Arrowhead Stadium on December 13, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo: David Eulitt/Getty Images