Kansas City Chiefs

Frank Clark blockbuster makes 49ers' Dee Ford trade look even better

Frank Clark blockbuster makes 49ers' Dee Ford trade look even better

With the 2019 NFL Draft beginning on Thursday, you're bound to see some trades over the next several days.

That process has already begun, as the Seahawks and Chiefs reportedly have agreed to a blockbuster trade that will send defensive end Frank Clark to Kansas City.

The Chiefs previously traded edge rusher Dee Ford to the 49ers at the start of the offseason for a 2020 second-round pick, which may ultimately end up with the Seahawks depending on how the teams fare in the upcoming season.

The price the 49ers had to pay to acquire Ford suddenly seems significantly cheaper compared to the reported package Kansas City will send Seattle's direction. Both Ford and Clark tied for seventh in the NFL with 13.0 sacks last season, and while Ford will be two years older than Clark at the start of training camp, a first-round pick is a hefty price to pay for that difference -- particularly so when you consider Clark's reported massive contract extension.

There's another 49ers angle to this reported trade, and it's not one most San Francisco fans will enjoy. That's quite a haul Seattle got for a great player, but not one who was going to expedite the Seahawks' turnaround. They just made Russell Wilson the highest paid player in NFL history, and with the draft picks they are receiving in exchange for Clark, they can better fill out their roster with talented, cheap, young players.

[RELATED: Staley the scout? 49ers tackle gave rave reviews on Ford]

So, if you're a 49ers fan, you're not liking this trade on paper. It should make you feel even better about the trade for Ford, though, and with San Francisco still holding the No. 2 overall pick on Thursday, some more good news could be on its way soon.

Raiders projected to have NFL's hardest strength of schedule in 2019

Raiders projected to have NFL's hardest strength of schedule in 2019

The 2019 NFL schedule release is right around the corner, and we already know a few things about the Raiders' path to the playoffs.

First of all, it won't be easy.

With games against NFC North and AFC South teams, the Raiders will have to conquer two of the NFL's best divisions while also facing the AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos twice as usual.

After going 4-12 a season ago, it seems brutal for the Silver and Black to have such a difficult schedule, and yet, according to multiple projections, the Raiders will have one of, if not the most difficult schedule in 2019. 

Here's ESPN writer Mike Clay's projection:

Well, that's not great. But it's just one projection, right?

Unfortunately, Warren Sharp paints a similarly bleak picture for Jon Gruden's team.

It seems a little unfair that the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will have one of the easiest schedules in the NFL, while the Raiders must run the gauntlet in order to return to the playoffs. But I guess that's the reward for playing in the AFC East.

[RELATED: Why D-line depth in draft keeps Raiders' options open]

The Raiders made substantial improvements to their offense in free agency and with the trade of Antonio Brown, but they'll need to nail what could be a franchise-defining draft if they plan on making a leap in Year 2 under Gruden.

49ers CEO Jed York says he punched wall when Jimmy Garoppolo tore ACL

49ers CEO Jed York says he punched wall when Jimmy Garoppolo tore ACL

PHOENIX — The 49ers placed 24 players on injured reserve in 2017, and 17 members of the organization spent time on IR last season.

CEO Jed York said he was almost the 18th.

The past several seasons have been frustrating for both fans and York alike, especially when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3 last season.

“I’m glad I wasn’t on IR,” York said Sunday at the NFL owners meeting. “I was close in Kansas City. I thought I broke my wrist in Kansas City when I heard he tore his ACL.”

Now that some time has passed, York was able to explain the incident with a chuckle.

“It was a good punch,” York said. “Unfortunately, it was a stud. You’ve got to find the dry wall. That’s the key. It looks so much better to put a hole through the wall, as opposed to finding the stud.”

York said he has since moved past the frustration from that fateful day in Kansas City, which changed the trajectory of the 49ers' season. He put a positive spin on the injuries of Garoppolo and running back Jerick McKinnon, who tore his ACL a week before the start of the regular season. Garoppolo is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation, York said, while McKinnon is right on pace. Both are expected to be cleared to participate fully in training camp.

“I think our guys have been very strong-willed and tough-minded,” York said. “They are able to fight through those things. It allows you to build character on your team, and I hope that will serve us well going forward.”

[RELATED: Jed York says 49ers 'were definitely in it' on Beckham trade]

York said he has been keeping an eye on his franchise quarterback, and is excited for the season to come. He's also been able to put the 49ers' spate of injuries, which prompted an overhaul of their training staff, in perspective. 

“It’s frustrating, but it’s football,” York said.