49ers DE Nick Bosa reacts to DeForest Buckner trade: ‘Bittersweet’
The San Francisco 49ers entered the offseason very tight against the salary cap, so they knew they would probably have to make some tough decisions. One of those decisions was trading star defensive lineman DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts back in March.
Fellow 49ers defensive lineman Nick Bosa provided his thoughts on the trade this week, saying that replacing him will not be easy. Bosa commented on the trade to Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com:
“Buck was definitely one of my best friends on the team, and seeing him go is obviously bittersweet … He got a pretty good contract and he deserves it, but just losing him as a leader, we’re going to have to really figure out how to step up and fill that void because he was the third-down D-line playcaller, he was the hype speech guy, he was everything.”
Buckner spent the first four seasons of his career in San Francisco, making a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2018. This past season, he registered 62 tackles and 7.5 sacks and played a pivotal role in the Niners’ run to the Super Bowl. Bosa added about Buckner’s impact,
“I think he played with the best effort on the D-line, which really shows on tape when you see somebody that big sprinting to the ball every play and making those tackles downfield and obviously his pass-rush ability. We’re gonna have to step it up for him.”
Because the 49ers signed Arik Armstead to a massive contract extension early on in free agency, they basically had no choice but to move Buckner, and they were able to nab the 13th overall pick in the NFL Draft in return.
However, there is no doubt that San Francisco will miss Buckner along its defensive front.