Dee Ford will not hit free agency on March 13. The Kansas City Chiefs will place the franchise tag on the linebacker, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The franchise tag value for linebackers this year has been set at $15.4 million.

If a team like the San Francisco 49ers is interested in Ford, it will have to open up trade discussions, which according to Schefter, the Chiefs are willing to do.


The 49ers need a pass rusher and are expected to address the position via free agency or the draft.

"I think that's a need for us," general manager John Lynch told Colin Cowherd this week. "It's a need for a lot of people. When you say a need, you usually think you're really bad. I just look at it as that's just one piece that's missing from an area where we can become a tough team to deal with.

"We've got guys like DeForest Buckner, and Arik Armstead, and Solomon Thomas inside. If you put that edge presence, I think we can become a unit that is tough to deal with."

The Chiefs made Ford, who played college football at Auburn, the No. 23 overall selection in 2014. He recorded 13 sacks to go along with his 55 combined tackles and seven forced fumbles this past season. Ford has registered 137 combined tackles, 30.5 sacks, six passes defensed, and nine forced fumbles during his five NFL seasons.

Some NFL fans might know Ford by one particular play in the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots. The linebacker was penalized for being offsides on defense at the end of the game. It was a call that invalidated a potentially game-sealing interception by cornerback Charvarius Ward.