With the 49ers committing to defensive lineman Arik Armstead a year after paying pass rusher Dee Ford and with a Nick Bosa mega-deal looming, DeForest Buckner was poised to be the odd man out. And then came a trade that will make him one of the highest-paid interior defensive linemen in the NFL.
After talks between Buckner and the 49ers went nowhere, the team gave Buckner permission to seek a trade, with the price tag being a first-round pick. The Colts were willing to give up the 13th overall selection — and the Colts were in turn willing to pay Buckner.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, here’s the breakdown of Buckner’s new deal.
1. 2020 roster bonus: $11 million, fully guaranteed and due three days after signing.
2. 2020 base salary: $12.378 million, fully guaranteed.
3. 2021 roster bonus: $16 million, guaranteed for skill and injury at signing and for cap in five days.
4. 2021 base salary: $1 million, guaranteed for injury.
5. 2022 roster bonus: $5 million, fully guaranteed on fifth day of 2021 league year.
6. 2022 base salary: $11 million, guaranteed for injury.
6. 2023 roster bonus: $1 million, due on the fifth day of the 2023 league year.
7. 2023 base salary: $18.75 million.
8. 2024 base salary: $20.25 million.
The deal includes $56.378 guaranteed for injury, with $39.378 million fully guaranteed. The new-money average on the four-year, $84 million extension is $21 million.
Adding in the $12.378 million that Buckner was due to earn in 2020, the five-year contract has a $19.2 million average at signing.
The new-money average trails Aaron Donald‘s by $1.5 million per year, but Donald signed a six-year extension. Buckner’s extension covers only four seasons. And the Colts had to surrender a first-round pick to get Buckner; without that draft-pick compensation, the Colts presumably would have paid Buckner even more.