Former Auburn standout Dee Ford is looking for a new NFL opportunity. The San Francisco 49ers announced Wednesday afternoon that they have released the defensive lineman.

Wednesday’s release follows previous statements made in March by 49ers general manager John Lynch indicating the franchise was moving on from Ford. Injuries have sidelined Ford throughout his time in San Francisco.

Ford played in 21 games for the 49ers, including 3 playoff contests. Over the last 2 seasons, though, he appeared in just 7 regular-season games. Ford was placed on injured reserve in 2020 with a neck and back injury, playing in just 1 game. This past season, Ford played in 6 games, landing on IR again in November.

A 2013 All-SEC selection, Ford was selected No. 23 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played for the Chiefs through the 2018 season. On March 2, 2019, Kansas City placed the franchise tag on Ford. Less than 2 weeks later, the Chiefs traded Ford to San Francisco. Ford and the Niners then agreed to a 5-year deal worth $87.5 million.

Over his professional career, Ford has played in 85 regular-season games, including 43 starts. In the regular season, he has tallied 159 tackles, 40 sacks, 12 forced fumbles and 7 passes defended. He has also played in 8 postseason games (4 starts), logging 17 tackles and 2.5 sacks. In 2018, Ford was selected to the Pro Bowl and led the NFL in forced fumbles (7).