Dee Ford thinks his trade to the 49ers came at the perfect time.
The deal, which can become official as soon as Wednesday at the start of the NFL's league year, will give the 27-year-old edge rusher the fresh start he was seeking after five seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.
“They don’t understand what they’re about to get — I needed this, bro," Ford told Yahoo Sports' Terez Paylor after the trade went down Tuesday night.
The 49ers reportedly have an idea what they're getting. San Francisco agreed to a five-year contract extension worth up to $87.5 million, ESPN's Josina Anderson reported Tuesday night citing a source. That includes approximately $45 million in guarantees, a source told Paylor.
Ford broke out in a big way in 2018, setting career highs in forced fumbles (seven), sacks (13), quarterback hits (29) and total tackles (55). The former first-round pick also graded out as Pro Football Focus' 11th-best edge defender in his fifth season, and can be a building block for a 49ers defense that seeks to drastically improve in 2019.
The 49ers are counting on it, and Ford is happy to have high expectations.
“I feel appreciated,” Ford told Yahoo. “Me knowing they believe in me ... talking to the GM, talking to the owner, talking to the head coach ... they couldn’t wait [for me to get there].”
Ford likely won't be the only pass rusher to come into the 49ers' fold this offseason. San Francisco has the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and seems likely to draft Ohio State's Nick Bosa or Kentucky's Josh Allen, depending on who the Arizona Cardinals ultimately select with the top pick. With DeForest Buckner already in the mix, pressuring QBs can go from a 49ers weakness to a strength.
If you ask Ford, he's counting on it.