On the most recent offseason plan we put together, we operated under the assumption that the San Francisco 49ers couldn’t move on from Dee Ford as he’d be unlikely to pass a physical by May. That would have triggered a partial guarantee in Ford’s contract of $11.6 million, making it next to impossible to release the talented edge rusher.
Monday afternoon, the 49ers restructured Ford’s contract instead of waiting until April 1 to see if he could pass a physical. Ford’s new deal is a two-year deal worth $24 million. We need more contract details to see how Ford’s restructure shakes out. On the surface, the team continues to kick Ford’s money down the road. This is the second time in under a year that the 49ers have restructured Ford’s deal to create cap space.
Over the Cap says a Ford restructure would save the team $9.45 million in 2021. We’ll see once the updated details are released. Releasing Ford because of his injury guarantee never made sense for San Francisco, especially once you add in what Ford’s potential dead money would have been. The 49ers decided that a potential post-June-1 release wasn’t worth it.
With the 49ers signing Samson Ebukam to a contract worth $12 million, I doubt the team expects Ford to be healthy come 2021. Based on the past two seasons, they don’t have any reason to believe he would be healthy. Since Ebukam entered the league in 2017, he hasn’t missed a game. Ford has missed nearly 50% of the games since then.