When the San Francisco 49ers acquired edge rusher Dee Ford from the Kansas City Chiefs ahead of the 2019 season, the expectation was that he’d team up with then-rookie Nick Bosa to form an elite duo.
Initially, this happened. Ford and Bosa helped San Francisco’s defense dominate during his initial season with the team en route to the 49ers earning a trip to the Super Bowl.
It’s been all downhill from there with Ford appearing in a combined seven games over the past two seasons due to a multitude of injuries. His career in San Francisco is now officially over, too.
The 49ers on Wednesday announced what many of us saw coming. They’ve released the 31-year-old former Pro Bowler.
- Dee Ford stats (2014-21): 159 tackles, 44 for loss, 79 QB hits, 40 sacks, 12 forced fumbles
Ford played in just six games with the 49ers last season, recording four quarterback hits and three sacks. He’s been dealing with a lingering back issue over the past couple years and could ultimately opt to retire.
Ford initially signed a five-year, $85.5 million contract with the 49ers after being acquired from Kansas City. After multiple restructures, this move saves San Francisco $1.12 million against the 2022 NFL salary cap.
San Francisco 49ers depth chart following release of Dee Ford
San Francisco was not banking on Ford to play a role this season. It simply needed him to pass a physical in order to move off the defender.
Instead, the 49ers edge group will be headed by one of the best in the game in the form of Nick Bosa. Samson Ebukam returns after a solid 2021 campaign. Meanwhile, San Francisco selected Drake Jackson out of USC in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
It also brought in veteran edge guys Kemoko Turay and Kerry Hyder Jr. Jordan Willis and Charles Omenihu round out the core group. Obviously, depth won’t be an issue here for one of the best defenses in the NFL.