DeForest Buckner, 49ers far apart on long-term deal

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The San Francisco 49ers signaled their commitment to defensive tackle DeForest Buckner two weeks ago when they exercised a fifth-year option for the 2020 season.

Now, it appears the Niners would like to ensure Bucker is with the team for a longer duration.

San Francisco has conducted talks for a long-term deal with Buckner's agent, but the two sides remain far apart, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

That the Niners would begin exploring a course of action to keep Bucker more than makes sense given what he has meant to the defense, even if there's still plenty of time to get something done before the end of the 2020 season.

Since entering the league in 2016 as the seventh overall pick of the draft, the 25-year-old Buckner has developed into a foundational piece on an improving defense.

Bucker has missed just one game in his three-year career and has totaled 132 tackles, 21 sacks and 60 quarterback hits over that span. He comes off a 2018 where he produced a career-high 12.5 sacks and earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl.

The 49ers bolstered the defensive side during the offseason with the additions of inside linebacker Kwon Alexander and outside linebacker Dee Ford, and then the team used the second overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft on defensive end Nick Bosa.

With so many young pieces in place around him, Bucker could be the defensive anchor for the long haul, provided something eventually gets done. Bucker will make a base salary of $720,000 in 2019 followed by $14.3 million under the fifth-year option in 2020.

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