Colts acquire DeForest Buckner for first-round pick

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The Indianapolis Colts made a big move to upgrade their defensive line.

The Colts traded a first-round pick, No. 13 overall, to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for defensive lineman DeForest Buckner, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

Indy not only gave up a first-rounder for Buckner, but they also handed the former No. 7 overall pick a massive extension worth $21 million per season, Rapoport added.

The new deal makes Buckner the second-highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL behind only Aaron Donald on a per-year basis.

The trade comes the same day that the Niners agreed to a big five-year contract extension with defensive lineman Arik Armstead. In essence, the 49ers chose to keep Armstead and get a first-rounder for Buckner, who would have been a free agent next offseason.

On a line with Armstead, Dee Ford and Nick Bosa, the Niners couldn't pay everyone. Getting a first-round pick back in return is a boon for San Francisco.

In Indy, Buckner becomes the centerpiece of a defensive line that needed upgrading.

"I'm always going to be obsessed with the (defensive) front," Colts GM Chris Ballard said last month, per Zak Keefer of The Athletic. "I just believe that that's how you win and that's how you have sustained success over time."

Buckner is a stud up front, compiling 28.5 sacks in four years. In the past two seasons, he generated 19.5 sacks, and added 2.5 more in the 2019 playoffs, including 1.5 in the Super Bowl. A hulking beast at 6-foot-7, Bucker is an animal in the interior, able to eat up blockers and owns the length to push the pocket into a quarterback's lap.

Employing Buckner to play in front of star linebacker Darius Leonard should immediately upgrade the Colts' interior defense.

Indy entered the NFL's negotiating window with about $68 million in cap space. Acquiring and paying Buckner should be just the start of the Colts' offseason.

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