With a day to go until the deadline for teams to designate franchise tags for players, the Chiefs officially made the expected move of doing so with Dee Ford. However, the question remains as to whether or not he will be a Chief next season. With the Chiefs changing their base defensive scheme from a 3-4 to a 4-3, there is a debate on how Ford will fit in this new system. While they are listening to offers, the Chiefs would likely only move Ford if the offer blows them away. This is especially true with the likelihood that Justin Houston does not return for 2019, as mentioned before.
While the Chiefs did tag him, it is a special kind of franchise tag. The Chiefs decided to use the non-exclusive version. This means that if Ford is not traded, he can sign an offer sheet from any other team. But, the Chiefs would have the right to match any offer. If another team signs Ford away, then Kansas City would receive two first-round picks from that given team.
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Money Money Money
Now let’s look at the money part of it. Ford will be considered a linebacker under the franchise tag. That means if he agrees to the franchise tag, he will make roughly $15.4 million in 2019. This is close to the amount of money ($16.9 million) that Ford has made so far in 5 NFL season. Ford would also have until July 15 to negotiate a long term deal with the Chiefs, if both sides can agree upon that.
Ford’s breakout season last year is exactly what the franchise tag is designed for. In 2018, Ford finished with 55 tackles, 13 sacks and a league-leading 7 forced fumbles. Those tackle and sack numbers were both career highs, and it was only the second time he had finished with double-digit sacks. Due to a lingering back injury in 2017 and other ailments in the past, Ford was also able to play in all 16 regular season games last year for the first time since his rookie season in 2014.
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