Chiefs put franchise tag on pass rusher Dee Ford

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The Kansas City Chiefs are keeping Dee Ford in their garage.

Kansas City franchise-tagged the pass rusher on Monday, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported, per a source. The team later made the news official.

Considered an outside linebacker, Ford will likely make $15.4 million on the tag if he signs it. Ford made $16.9 million in his first five seasons in the league.

Ford has until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal with the Chiefs.

That is unless Kansas City moves Ford. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Chiefs are open to dealing Ford to a team with a better scheme fit for the right price. The Chiefs are switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense under new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

The edge rusher's one-year raise is absolutely deserving. After missing most of the 2017 season with a back injury, Ford had a career year in 2018, recording 55 tackles, 13 sacks and a league-high seven forced fumbles. With Kansas City likely to let Justin Houston go via trade or release, Ford is set to take up his mantle as the Chiefs' preeminent pass rusher.

Ford is one of many pass rushers and front-seven studs to receive the tag on Monday; DeMarcus Lawrence, Jadeveon Clowney, Grady Jarrett and Frank Clark were all tagged, as well. With Ford also off the board, Patriots defensive lineman Trey Flowers is the top remaining pass rusher, according to NFL.com's Top 101 Free Agents list.

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