Rapoport noted on NFL Network's Good Morning Football that it might only take a second-round pick to pry the 27-year-old linebacker from K.C.
The linebacker tag is set to cost $15.443 million in 2019. The non-exclusive tender allows other teams to sign Ford to a long-term offer, but that franchise would send two first-round picks back to Kansas City as compensation. Rapoport's report suggests it would cost much less to get a deal done directly with K.C.
Questions about Ford's fit in new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's 4-3 system are one reason the Chiefs are shopping the pass rusher. Ford exploded in 2018, compiling 13 sacks, seven forced fumbles and 55 tackles as the Chiefs' best defender. Questions about whether he can repeat the performance if given a massive long-term contract have hovered over K.C this offseason.
Rapoport didn't make it sound like K.C. plans to push very hard to do a long-term deal with Ford, adding that the Chiefs are fine keeping him on the franchise tag for 2019 then "figuring it out down the road."
If a team starved for pass rushing talent is willing to take on Ford's franchise tag, or pay him a long-term deal before July 15, K.C. might decide to trade a young, talented QB disrupter.