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Latest on Dee Ford’s future with Chiefs, franchise tag, and more

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford is in Orlando for his first Pro Bowl appearance. It’s one of the many accolades that highlight his tremendous 2018 season in which he set a career-high of 13 sacks. It could potentially be his last in Kansas City. Ford is scheduled to become a free agent in 2019 and if he hits the open market he’ll be a hot commodity in a weak free agent class of pass-rushers.

Ford, however, has a single goal in mind — to remain with the Kansas City Chiefs. When speaking with our friend Herbie Teope of in Orlando, Ford revealed that staying in Kansas City is the option for him.

“That’s the option,” Ford explained. “I love the community and I’m just used to that environment. So, I’ll be blessed to be able to stay. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

Ford is not yet a free agent, he’ll have to wait until the new league year begins in March to officially hit free agency. If the team is unable to sign Ford to a long-term contract before the free agency period begins, they’ll have the option of making him their franchise tag player. Ford announced late in the 2018 season that he’s extremely receptive to the idea of being offered the franchise tag.

“If somebody offers you $20 million would you take it?” Ford asked rhetorically. “That’s a no-brainer right there.”

Ford’s number would likely be somewhere closer to $15 million than $20 million, but it’s still a large number. Nearly double what he made on his fifth-year option in 2018. Now that the offseason is knocking on the door, Ford is still receptive, but knows the decision isn’t his own.

“That’s out of my control,” Ford told Teope. “If it happens, it happens, and I don’t mind it.”

Even after the offsides gaffe that perhaps cost the Chiefs a trip to the Super Bowl, Ford has remained loyal following criticism. He’s out representing the Chiefs proudly at the Pro Bowl in Orlando.

Will the dismissal of Bob Sutton impact whether Ford stays or hits the free agent market in 2019?

“I was raised pretty much under Bob’s system, so Bob is the coach that I’m used to, that I’ve known,” Ford explained to Teope. “So, it’s always shocking, but it’s a business. Bob’s an excellent coach and he’ll be fine.”

Ford’s only played as an outside linebacker in Sutton’s system, but he was drafted out of Auburn as a 4-3 defensive end. New defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo runs a 4-3 defense. He’ll need some talented pass-rushers for that system, and with that Ford could certainly have a future in Kansas City, if they so choose to bring him back.

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