The 49ers have agreed to trade All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Colts, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. In this stunner of a deal, the Colts will ship their first-round pick (No. 13 overall) and sign him to a newly-minted monster contract.
Buckner’s new pact will pay him $21MM per year and make him the second-highest paid DT in league history. Now, only Aaron Donald ranks higher on the all-time list at the position.
The deal leaves the Niners with a major hole to fill on their world-class defensive front. The deal also gives them additional draft artillery. The 49ers now own two first-round picks (Nos. 13 and 31 overall), which they could quickly pivot into a larger stockpile. As of this writing, they have no picks in Rounds 2, 3, or 4. One of those picks will likely be traded for better depth in April, Schefter tweets.
Just hours ago, the 49ers struck a deal to keep defensive lineman Arik Armstead for the long-haul. His five-year deal, potentially worth $85MM, seemed to signal that the Niners would be keeping the band together. Instead, it was one half of a difficult choice the 49ers felt they had to make. With the trade, the Niners will be able to apply their cash to other areas and replenish with younger talent in the draft.
The former No. 7 overall pick was exceptional in 2019 and awarded an All-Pro selection for his performance. The Oregon product tallied 62 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, and 7.5 sacks last year as the 49ers rumbled their way to the Super Bowl. With 28.5 career sacks, he has a proven track record of getting to the quarterback and changing the complexion of any game.
The Colts, meanwhile, entered the offseason with pass pressure high on their to-do list. They were particularly soft on the interior; the upgrade that Buckner provides cannot be understated.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, things seem to be heating up with Philip Rivers. The Colts just might start free agency with the acquisition of two superstars to address their two biggest areas of need.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.