The San Francisco 49ers have until May 2 to exercise DeForest Buckner’s fifth-year option. If used, they’ll have to figure out what to do in 2021. Anyone curious about how much it will cost may want to look at the Kansas City Chiefs and their extension talks with defensive tackle Chris Jones.
Via Kansas City Star’s Brooke Pryor, the Chiefs are going to try to get an extension done with Jones before he becomes a free agent in 2020. The conversations have started, according to Chiefs general manager Brett Veach. While they’re nowhere near complete, it’s something to keep an eye on. Both Jones and Buckner play defensive tackle and with Dee Ford and Justin Houston both gone from the Chiefs, Jones could be on his way to a huge payday.
If they can get to a deal, it could come into the conversation when the 49ers start negotiating with Buckner in a year. Would it be comparable? It depends on how you grade Buckner against that production. Jones finished 2018 with 29 quarterback hits, 15.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and one interception—that was returned for a touchdown. He’s going to get paid.
While his 2018 isn’t as good stat-wise, Buckner won’t come cheap regardless. He’s coming off a 20 quarterback hit, 12-sack season with one fumble recovery to boot and has been productive in both 2016 and 2017 before. Also, he wasn’t benefited with Justin Houston, Dee Ford, and an opposing offense playing catch-up the whole game. Given that the 49ers are trying to get the edge rusher figured out so Buckner can cause even more havoc, he might put together an even more stat-laden season than 2018.
Jones’ extension would come before the new league year begins in 2020 but he’s going to get paid. One would have to think all the releases the Chiefs made were to get enough money allocated for deals like this—and to get quarterback Patrick Mahomes taken care of in a year or two.
Do you think Buckner’s extension will be anywhere in the neighborhood of Chris Jones’ (provided the Chiefs can get him locked down)?