Chiefs GM Brett Veach spoke of Ford on Thursday as if it's a foregone conclusion the linebacker will return in 2019.
"Obviously, Dee's a player that had done so much for us, in particular, last year, that we're excited about bringing him back," Veach said, via Arrowhead Pride.
Ford has always been a top candidate to get slapped with the franchise tag and the pass rusher has stated he's not against the one-year place-holder in hopes it leads to a bigger deal in K.C. Veach speaking as if the decision has already been made only solidifies the belief that the Chiefs will employ the tag, at the very least, between the Feb. 19-Mar. 5 deadline.
After seeing his 2017 campaign end prematurely with injury, Ford busted out in a big way in 2018, gobbling up career-highs in sacks (13) and tackles (55) while consistently pestering quarterbacks. The Chiefs might opt to use the tag to confirm the supposition that last year wasn't a contract-year-motivation outlier before handing the 27-year-old a colossal long-term deal.
Veach added that he's not concerned about how Ford might transition into new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's 4-3 system.
"He had an outstanding season," Veach said. "He was at the top of his game. When we drafted Dee a few years ago, all those things we envisioned for him, he showed that he was that player. We are running a different scheme now, and Steve -- he actually started the process on Monday to go through the roster and look at these guys. Not knowing where they were drafted or how much money they're making, just gives you a pure feel on strengths, weaknesses and how we can get better and then we'll throw our dialogue in there with the other information in regard to what we can do to get creative in regard to structuring this thing from a cap standpoint."
Ford's season ended in ignominious fashion in K.C. after an offsides penalty by him wiped out a potential game-ending interception against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game. His offseason is just beginning, but it doesn't appear a change of scenery will be on the menu.