Kansas City Chiefs’ Dee Ford aims to avoid ‘brick walls’ in 2017

Kansas City Chiefs’ Dee Ford aims to avoid ‘brick walls’ in 2017: When Ford took down Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in the ninth game last season, he was tied for the NFL lead with 10 sacks. In the remainder of the regular season, though, the former Auburn standout didn’t record another sack and made only seven tackles.

“It was just inconsistency,” Ford told reporters this week. “There were high points and there were low points. The ultimate deal was that I just wasn’t healthy. That’s the ultimate goal heading into this year is just to be more consistent. You’re going to tweak things and get better at things as you go, but the ultimate goal is to be healthy so you can execute those things.”

Kansas City Chiefs’ Dee Ford aims to avoid ‘brick walls’ in 2017
Kansas City Chiefs

Ford suffered a hamstring injury in the 10th game of 2016 that caused him to miss the following game. That injury piled on the knee tendinitis that was an ongoing concern for Ford after surfacing in last summer’s minicamp, when he missed the final two days because of the ailment.

These decisions are never easy, especially with a player like Jeremy, who I’ve grown close with on and off the football field over the years,” said Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who also coached Maclin with the Philadelphia Eagles. “I have a lot of respect for the way he goes about his business and how he handles himself as a professional. I wish him the best of luck moving forward.”

In a textbook Friday evening news dump, the Kansas City Chiefs released wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, saving $7.6 million in 2017 salary cap charges, according to Overthecap.com. Cutting Maclin after June 1 boosted the savings by $2.6 million over what they would have been previously.

This was a shocking move in that Maclin’s signing, for five years and $55 million, $22.5 million guaranteed, was a major coup for the Chiefs in the offseason two years ago. Maclin changed the face of a wide receiving corps that might have been even less well-regarded than what the Eagles fielded last season. Maclin’s 87 catches for 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns in 2015 gave Andy Reid’s offense a new dimension.

Reid was the Eagles’ coach when the team drafted Maclin in the first round, 19th overall, in 2009. Maclin made the Pro Bowl after the 2014 season, but when he became a free agent, Kansas City offered more than Reid’s successor, Chip Kelly, thought Maclin was worth.

Friday’s unexpected release of a starting-quality wideout who just turned 29 last month immediately raised speculation about whether he might return to the Eagles, and the city he said he never really wanted to leave. Eagles coach Doug Pederson was Kansas City’s offensive coordinator in 2015. Eagles de facto general manager Howie Roseman goes out of his way to retain productive draftees, and probably would have handled the Maclin free-agency differently.
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