A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press the Kansas City Chiefs are placing the franchise tag on Dee Ford, who was poised to hit free agency after the best season of his career.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday because the paperwork has not been complete.
The franchise tag for an outside linebacker next season is just over $15.4 million, though the Chiefs have expressed interest in signing Ford to a long-term deal. They are also open to trading him if the right offer came along as they switch from a 3-4 to a 4-3 base defense.
ESPN.com was first to report that the Chiefs were franchise Ford.
Ford was the Chiefs’ first-round pick in 2014 out of Auburn, but he struggled with injuries and the adjustment to the NFL his first couple seasons. He only played in six games with two sacks in 2017, but had a career-best 13 sacks and forced seven fumbles this past season.