Detroit Lions: 4 pass rushers to consider acquiring

(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Lions
(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

Dee Ford

The San Francisco 49ers are trying to re-tool on the fly after their recent Super Bowl appearance.  General Manager John Lynch made a splash by resigning defensive end Arik Armstead this offseason in favor of DeForest Buckner, who eventually was traded to the Colts.  Upon arriving in Indianapolis, Buckner signed a large four-year extension that will pay him an average of $21-million per season, making him the second-highest-paid defensive tackle in football behind the great Aaron Donald of the Rams.

In comparison, Armstead signed a five-year extension worth $85-million, which will pay him an average of $17-million per season.  Clearly, the 49ers expect similar production from Armstead saving four-million.

Many will argue much of the success Armstead enjoyed last season was due to the attention teams were forced to pay to stand out edge rusher Nick Bosa, Dee Ford (when healthy), and Buckner inside. Armstead was a player I had hoped the Detroit Lions decided to target if he were to become a free agent as I expected the 49ers to retain Buckner and allow Armstead to walk; I was wrong.

That being said, the 49ers were trying to deal edge rusher Dee Ford leading up to the draft but were unable to come up with an agreement.  Ford, clearly not as the title indicates, a defensive end but a premier pass-rusher to make an exception for.

Ford is a player the Detroit Lions should consider trading for.  The 49ers are trying to clear some cap space and will be interested in moving Ford for a future pick to do so.  Imagine if the Detroit Lions were able to land Ford for a mid-round pick in 2021.  It’s a move they’d have to consider.

Ford only played in 11 games last season with the 49ers and started just two of those games with how deep the team had been upfront.  That after starting in 16 a year prior as a member of the Kansas City Cheifs.  Two years ago, Ford recorded 13 sacks, earning him a lucrative five-year $85.5-million deal with the 49ers.

Sure, the $17-million and change contract hurts, but after this season, the dead cap hit goes under $5-million, making him expendable if the wheels fall off.  That is something that will entice any team looking to add a pure pass-rusher.  Over the last two seasons, Ford has compiled 20 sacks to go with his 54 solo tackles. Over the previous two seasons, Ford has earned himself elite rankings according to Pro Football Focus (PFF) 88.5, 84.4, respectively.

Jamie Collins, Detroit’s recently signed outside linebacker has never eclipsed double-digit sacks in any one season of his career.  A reliable outside linebacker but not an elite pass-rusher.  Last season Collins recorded a career-high seven sacks with one of the best all-around defenses in football.