49ers release former Chiefs OLB Dee Ford

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Former Kansas City Chiefs OLB Dee Ford has been released from his contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

A former first-round pick by the Chiefs in the 2014 NFL draft, Kansas City traded the franchise-tagged Ford to the 49ers ahead of the 2019 NFL season in exchange for a 2020 second-round draft pick. The 49ers in turn signed Ford to a five-year contract extension worth over $85 million. It looked like a great deal for a player coming off of a season where he recorded 55 tackles, 13 sacks and seven forced fumbles.

The problem was that Ford was unable to stay healthy in San Francisco. In three seasons with the 49ers, Ford has appeared in just 18 regular-season games of 49 possible games. He recorded just 22 total tackles, 9.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in that span.

With concerns about the Chiefs’ pass-rushing depth, there will surely be some calls for a reunion, but don’t expect that to happen. There’s the offsides gaffe in the 2018 AFC title game that in part cost Kansas City a trip to the Super Bowl. Also considering Ford’s fit in Steve Spagnuolo’s 4-3 system, plus the neck and back injuries that have hampered his career since he left Kansas City, this one is probably best left in the past.

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