The Indianapolis Colts made a major move on the first day of free-agent frenzy.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the San Francisco 49ers traded the Colts defensive tackle, DeForest Buckner, in exchange for the No. 13 overall pick in the draft.
In addition, Buckner agreed to a new contract that will pay him $21 million per year by the Colts.
When the Colts made the trade, the franchise extended his contract for five years.
For now, that makes him the NFL’s second-highest-paid defensive lineman in comparison to Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald.
Here are three things to know about the newly acquired prize.
#1: Consistent And Loved
49ers fans are going to hate to see Deforest Buckner leave.
Since the 49ers selected Buckner with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2016 draft, he has been a regular in the lineup.
Buckner has missed just one game in four seasons, playing the third-most snaps among defensive lineman during that time.
During that time, he has also recorded 28.5 regular-season sacks.
Buckner just doesn’t come off the field. He’s played at least 77% of all 49ers D snaps since 2016. That’s 3,531. Then there’s 511 more on ST = 4,042. Rare for a guy of his caliber.
Different Ds & philosophies but for comparison, KC’s Chris Jones has played 2,867 in 4 years.
— Jim Ayello (@jimayello) March 16, 2020
Not only does he produce on the field, but the 49ers also respect the heck out of him.
In February, Buckner was named the team’s winner of the Bill Walsh Award.
The award is given to the 49ers player who “best represents the standard of professional excellence.”
#2: The 3-Technique Savior
At the end of the last season, general manager Chris Ballard gave a hint of what he was going to search for this offseason.
The Colts wanted a big defensive end that makes the entire Indy front better.
“The 3-technique drives this thing,” Ballard said in his press conference at the end of the season. “It does. Every time I’ve been a part of this.”
It turns out that is what they wanted to find and Buckner was their guy.
At 6-feet-7, and 295 pounds, Buckner will take over the 3-technique role from Denico Autry.
Autry posted 12.5 sacks in two seasons at the spot, while Buckner recorded 19.5.
When defensive Matt Eberflus ran this scheme, he had Warren Sapp dominate the position in Tampa.
Now, he has found the man to run the point of penetration.
And just like that, DeForest Buckner has been traded to the Colts for the 13th overall pick. pic.twitter.com/mZ8tHHqdXS
— TheSFNiners (@TheSFNiners) March 16, 2020
#3: A True Love Story
Buckner’s story with his wife, Ashlyn, is a true tale.
His wife and he met while seniors at the University of Oregon in 2015.
At the time, Buckner was rising the ranks as a top-10 draft pick.
Since the duo was still freshly dating, his eventual wife was not going to change her whole life over Buckner’s NFL career.
When the Houston Texans were looking at drafting Buckner, Ashlyn told him they would not remain together.
Instead, the 49ers drafted Buckner, and he was able to keep his girlfriend.
Ashlyn quickly grew into Buckner’s biggest motivator in football, while keeping her career.
With a change to Indy, hopefully, the couple can remain in good spirits.NEXT: Report: Colts In Talks With Philip Rivers About Contract