Ford, 6-foot-2, 194 pounds, has been the Dolphins' starting slot receiver for much of the season and a favorite of veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. With a knack of being at the right place at the right time and coming up big in clutch moments, he has 18 catches for 184 yards this season. He had seven catches for 54 yards in the Dolphins' season-finale win over the Patriots in 2019.
This is the first trade between the Dolphins and Patriots since Miami shipped Wes Welker to New England in March 2007 for second- and seventh-round draft picks.
The Dolphins sent a 2021 conditional sixth-round draft pick to Kansas City in exchange for a 2021 conditional seventh-round pick, along with Washington, from the Chiefs.
Ford, a 2017 seventh-round pick, should provide experience for a depleted Patriots receiver group, and he has the versatility to play both outside and slot receiver. The Patriots have been in need of reinforcements, as Julian Edelman (knee) is on injured reserve and N'Keal Harry missed Sunday's loss against the Buffalo Bills. They have elevated undrafted free agent Isaiah Zuber from the practice squad four different times this year.
For the Dolphins, Ford has been a stopgap option at slot receiver, but they have a trio of young players they would like to evaluate there the rest of the season: rookie third-round pick Lynn Bowden Jr., rookie seventh-round pick Malcolm Perry and practice squad receiver Antonio Callaway, who saw his NFL suspension expire this week and is a likely candidate to be elevated to the 53-man roster soon.
Bowden and Perry are both converted quarterbacks who have played sparingly so far this season while learning the slot receiver position. Callaway, the most accomplished of the group, had 43 catches for 586 yards during his rookie season (2018). He was suspended 10 games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy in 2019, a suspension that leaked over into this season, when he was suspended for an additional four games.
The Dolphins are taking a reclamation shot on him being able to contribute for a receiver group that could use more explosive weapons for new starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Washington has been buried on the Chiefs' running back depth chart, particularly after the addition of Le'Veon Bell, so he is set to get a larger opportunity in Miami. He has three carries for 5 yards in one game for the Chiefs this season, but he's had some success in the first four seasons of his NFL career as both a runner and receiving back -- including 679 total yards with the Oakland Raiders last season.
The Dolphins have been leaning on second-year running back Myles Gaskin in their backfield for much of the season, but they rank 28th in rushing yards (98 yards per game) this season. Gaskin has a knee injury and is expected to miss some time, a source told ESPN, confirming a report by the Miami Herald.
Free-agent signing Jordan Howard has been a disappointment, totaling 18 carries for 14 yards in the early portion of the season before being a healthy scratch over the past three games. They also acquired Matt Breida via a draft day trade, but he hasn't made the most of limited opportunities, either. The Dolphins now have six running backs on their active roster (Gaskin, Breida, Washington, Howard, Patrick Laird, Salvon Ahmed).
Information from ESPN's Mike Reiss was used in this report.