It’s still somewhat surreal that the San Francisco 49ers will be without defensive tackle DeForest Buckner for the 2020 season. Late Wednesday afternoon, that became a reality. Buckner passed his physical with the Indianapolis Colts, making the trade official. 49ers general manager John Lynch issued a statement:
“On behalf of the 49ers organization, I want to extend our most sincere appreciation to DeForest for his many contributions to the team and our community. It has truly been a privilege to work with DeFo these last three years, and he deserves a great deal of credit for helping us to build the foundation of this team and reestablish a championship culture. He and his wife, Ashlyn, are special people, and we wish them the very best in their next chapter of life.”
I only had the chance to cover Buckner for one season, but it’ll be easy to root for Buckner for the rest of his career, no matter who he plays for. Seeing how he treated people, from his closest teammates like Arik Armstead to those who he’s never seen, it was always consistent. Buckner is genuinely a good human being. I could ask DeFo a question that didn’t require an answer with much substance, and he’d give a 45-second answer. So for that, and everything else you did for this franchise, thank you, DeForest.
Buckner turned 26-years-old on Tuesday. His new deal with the Colts will average roughly $21 million over his five-year deal.