The Chiefs appear to be putting linebacker Dee Ford on the trade block, given their new defensive scheme, and both the Steelers and Packers would be wise to get on the phone with Kansas City’s front office about a potential trade (assuming Saturday’s report about the team placing the franchise tag on him is true).
Kansas City fired defensive coordinator Bob Sutton, and elected to hire Steve Spagnuolo to fill the void. As such, the team will be moving from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense. That change now essentially renders Ford into a square peg that is trying to fit into a round hole, as he can’t defend the run, and is a pass-rushing specialist. He needs to line up outside on the edge to specifically focus on rushing the passer.
Not only that, Ford isn’t exactly the favorite person among Chiefs fans right now, given that his inability to line up onside in the AFC title game cost the team a potential game-winning interception, and a Super Bowl berth.
But let’s not overlook that Ford is great at rushing the passer, and he’s coming off a 13-sack season, so he can clearly still get the job done. In a 3-4 defense, he can be extremely effective. Both the Packers and Steelers run 3-4 base defenses, and both are in need of pass-rushers, so he could fit in well there. Here’s why.
The Steelers’ secondary continues to be a major liability in coverage, and the best way to minimize that weakness is to generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Pittsburgh recorded 52 sacks, which was great, but consistency was an issue for the team. Having a veteran pass-rusher such as Ford could help rectify that, and it’s scary to think how good Ford could be in Keith Butler’s aggressive defense.
Green Bay’s defensive coordinator Mike Pettine loves to bring pressure early and often — as New York Jets fans know all too well, with the team clinching berths in back-to-back AFC title games during his tenure. The Packers recorded 44 sacks last season, but the team figures to lose Clay Matthews, who is set to become a free agent. They’ll need to bring in a veteran pass-rusher to fill the void, and Ford could be that guy. Kyler Fackrell was exceptional in his breakout season in 2018, and having Ford on the opposite side could be a nightmare for opposing signal-callers.