One of the few questions that were asked outside of quarterbacks was regarding San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Dee Ford. While reports surfaced that Ford is running and rehabbing, general manager John Lynch didn’t seem too confident in Ford returning to the field this upcoming season.
Lynch was asked how big of a domino was the Dee Ford restructure for the team to be able to fit both Jimmy Garoppolo and the No. 3 pick into the 2021 cap and how Ford was doing right now. Lynch side-stepped the Jimmy question.
Here’s what he said:
Well, Dee’s doing well. With that type of injury, you don’t want to get too high or too low and I think he’s really in a good place. He’s working. He’s been here every day. He’s working extremely hard. It’s encouraging to look out my window and see things progress, but I think we’ll leave it at that, but we’re very appreciative to Dee and his representative Adisa [Bakari] for working with us to come up with something that would allow for us to gain some more room. He worked with us and we’re extremely appreciative. I think, both sides won there. I think on that note, just would really like to thank Paraag, Brian Hampton, [contract administrator] Richard Buffum and [manager, salary cap] Jeff Diamond. Those guys do tremendous work.
It’s funny, we refer to them as ‘the Fed’ because they kind of set prices for the entire league and agents look forward to their pricing of players in free agency. This year in particular, because we didn’t have a combine where a lot of that stuff goes on. I think a lot of people were relying on them and those guys did a tremendous job working through and the relationships with agents and I thought were really excellent in what they were able to contribute, as well as our pro staff led by [director of pro personnel] Ran Carthon and [pro personnel scout] R.J. Gillen, [pro personnel analyst] Salli Clavelle and [pro personnel analyst] Fred Gammage.
They were all a part of this. Kyle and I believe in listening to everyone and creating a good team where everyone feels empowered and feels like their opinion matters. I think what we’ve been able to accomplish thus far is very representative of a lot of efforts from a lot of different people.”
Ford did the 49ers a solid with his most recent restructure that saved the team roughly $11 million in salary-cap space.
This isn’t anything new, as it was more of a pipedream that the Niners could rely on Ford’s services in 2021. With the addition of Samson Ebukam and how he mentioned he’s expected to be on the field based on what the coaches said, the writing is on the wall for Ford.
The 49ers’ draft plans will give us even more of an idea of where they stand on Ford. If there’s an edge rusher selected in the second round, Ford’s run is likely over in San Francisco.