The Kansas City Chiefs officially placed the franchise tag on star pass rusher Dee Ford this week after days of speculation that this might happen.
Though, there’s one caveat here. Reports suggest that Kansas City is open to trading Ford following its move to a 4-3 defensive under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Ford fits better as an outside edge presence in the 3-4 defense that former coordinator Bub Sutton ran.
According to this report from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport (h/t Gregg Rosenthal), the Chiefs are open to moving Ford for a mere second-round pick.
This would be pennies on the dollar for a still-young pass rusher coming off a career-best season. Set to turn 28 later in March, Ford racked up 29 quarterback hits, 13 sacks and a league-leading seven forced fumbles in 2018.
If Kansas City doesn’t get its asking price for Ford, the team would be more than willing to have Ford play out the 2019 campaign under the franchise tag.
Though, that creates another issue. The NFL designated Ford as an outside linebacker in a press release on Tuesday. This represents $1.7 million less than if he were tagged as a defensive end — potentially leading to Ford filing a grievance.