Chiefs general manager Brett Veach made it sound as though outside linebacker Dee Ford will remain in Kansas City this season.
The Chiefs executed his $8.7 million fifth-year option for 2018 last May, which was only guaranteed for injury. Ford, however, injured his back last season and missed 10 games. If he fails to pass his physical, which is scheduled for the near future, his salary for 2018 will be guaranteed. If he passes, the Chiefs could release him and create more salary cap room, but Veach seems to think Ford can contribute.
“We’re anxious for Dee to get back and get more in the mix,” Veach said Thursday at the NFL scouting combine. “I spoke to Rick Burkholder, our trainer, three weeks ago and he continues to progress."
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said the same thing Wednesday.
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“Yeah, he is making good progress physically, which is a real plus," Reid said of Ford. "He has worked extremely hard to get himself back and he looks good right now.”
Ford, 26, was the Chiefs' first-round draft pick in 2014. The 6-foot-2, 252-pounder led the Chiefs with 10 sacks and 17 hurries in 2016, though his production dropped off because of injuries.
“A couple years ago, he had that span where he was on a tear,” Veach said, referring to the five-game stretch in 2016 in which Ford recorded 8 1/2 of his 10 sacks. “We started to turn the corner, and then had some setbacks. But we believe in him and his ability to really make a difference when healthy.”