The legal tampering period has gotten underway in the NFL and it has been the trades that have dominated headlines. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the San Francisco 49ers are trading DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a first-round pick.
Trade AND deal: Colts trade first-round pick (13th overall) to 49ers for All-Pro DT DeForest Buckner, who already has agreed to a massive contract that pays him $21 million a year and makes him the second-highest paid DT in NFL history behind only Aaron Donald, sources tell ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2020
Earlier on Monday, the 49ers chose to sign Arik Armstead to a five-year, $85 million contract to remain with the team. With Buckner heading into the final year of his contract, San Francisco believes it is best to move him before they have to pay him as well.
At the least, the 49ers were able to secure a first-round pick in the trade. Now, that gives them two first-round selections in this year’s draft. Seeing that their next pick is in the fifth round, San Francisco could deal one of their first-round picks for more draft capital.
As for the Colts, they address a need on defense by adding DeForest Buckner to the defensive line. Over the past four seasons, Buckner has become one of the most disruptive interior defenders in the NFL. Altogether, the former first-round pick has compiled 28.5 sacks, 38 tackles for loss, and 74 quarterback hits since 2016.
Upon being traded to Indianapolis, Buckner also signed a lucrative contract with the Colts, paying him $21 million annually. As a result, Buckner becomes the second-highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL. The only interior defender ahead of him is Aaron Donald.
Also, for the Colts, this move indicates that the team may have a veteran quarterback in mind in free agency. While they acquired a dominant defensive lineman, it doesn’t appear that Indianapolis is done making moves.