49ers make move on DeForest Buckner’s contract

Fifth-year option exercised to retain Buckner's rights through 2020

SAN JOSE, CA – FEBRUARY 15: San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner interacts with LeyVa Middle School students during the school’s “National No One Eats Alone” Day program on Feb. 15, 2019, in San Jose. The Bay Area nonprofit Beyond Differences developed the national “No One Eats Alone” program to encourage students to be inclusive and get to know all their classmates. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)
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SANTA CLARA — Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner is arguably the 49ers’ best first-round draft pick of the past decade, and while they envision a long-term contract extension with him, they took the procedural step Wednesday of locking him in through 2020.

The 49ers exercised the fifth-year option on Buckner, drafted seventh overall in 2016 by then-general manager Trent Baalke.

Baalke’s successor, John Lynch, echoed Buckner’s recent stance on contract talks in that both sides don’t have a sense of urgency.

San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman DeForest Buckner talks to the media at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Wednesday, April 17, 2019. (Randy Vazquez/Bay Area News Group)

“It is extremely early in that process,” Lynch said Monday. “… We’ve got a long time to work on that. He’s very important to us.

“He’s another guy who’s a big part of what we’re doing,” Lynch added. “Just love everything about him and the way he goes about his business, his profession. I think he’s a special player and we’d like to keep him here for a long time.”

Buckner broke out last season with 12 sacks and his first Pro Bowl appearance.

“Just because I’m eligible for a new contract going into my fourth year, it’s still very early in the process,” Buckner said. “I’m really looking forward to being with the team long term. I know Jed (York) and John (Lynch) and Paraag (Marathe) and Kyle (Shanahan) all know that, and they all know what I bring to the table and to the team.

“There’s no rush to it.”

But there is a pass rush blooming on the 49ers defense. Buckner’s productivity could grow immensely in 2019 with the addition of edge rusher Dee Ford and perhaps more help with Thursday’s No. 2 overall draft pick, which figures to be Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams or Josh Allen.

Buckner is represented by Joel Segal, the agent for Bears and former Raiders pass rusher Khalil Mack, as well as Buckner’s long-time teammate Arik Armstead, who is playing this season on his fifth-year option at $9 million.

 

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