Texans should take a chance on 49ers DE Dee Ford

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General manager Nick Caserio gathering draft capital is beneficial for the Houston Texans because it allows them the opportunity to secure veteran talent that may be on the trade block.

According to Brad Spielberger from Pro Football Focus, one candidate that is on the trade block — or could be outright released after June 1 — is San Francisco 49ers defense end Dee Ford. After signing a five-year, $85 million extension with the 49ers following the Kansas City Chiefs trading their former 2014 first-rounder in the 2018 offseason, Ford hasn’t exactly been as formidable.

Before injuries derailed his career, Ford was coming off a dominant 2018 campaign in which he earned a 91.0 pass-rush grade with 78 quarterback pressures, 13 sacks and seven forced fumbles. It’s unfortunate we never got to see an attempted repeat performance, but perhaps he’ll make one last push on a new team in 2022.

The 49ers would have to eat $5.8 million in dead salary cap space if they moved on from Ford, whether by trade or by outright release. The cap savings would be paltry at $1.1 million for San Francisco.

The last four years of Ford’s contract are voided, according to Over the Cap, and the Texans would have a potential out in 2023, but he would count as an $8.6 million dead cap hit for Houston if they released him prior to June 1. However, it would give the Texans a chance to revitalize the career of an effective edge defender while retooling the defense.

For the Texans to complete the rebuild, it will involve taking chances on veteran talent that has tapered off in recent seasons. Ford is 31 years old and may still have a good season or two left in him.

Houston is already giving opportunities to older pass rushers such as Jerry Hughes, 33, and Mario Addison, 34. Ford would still have a couple good years left if he were able to restore his career in Houston.

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2022 NFL schedule: Houston Texans play Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs in 21st regular season

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