When Arik Armstead reportedly signed a five-year deal worth up to $85 million on Monday morning, it was an eye-popping move considering the 49ers’ financial situation. It was also reported that the 49ers made a run at free agent tight end Austin Hooper, in an effort to pair him with George Kittle as a dynamic tight end duo, the likes of which had not been seen since Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
The question was, if the 49ers are going to try and keep DeForest Buckner and George Kittle and Jimmie Ward and Emmanuel Sanders, where is all this money coming from. The answer? Trading Buckner.
Literally moments after the 49ers announced they had officially signed Arik Armstead to a five-year deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that the 49ers were in a move that had been rumbling around social media. Buckner has been traded to the Indianapolis Colts for the 13th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and will sign a deal to become the second-highest paid defensive tackle in the NFL.
Trade AND deal: Colts trade first-round pick (13th overall) to 49ers for All-Pro DT DeForest Buckner, who already has agreed to a massive contract that pays him $21 million a year and makes him the second-highest paid DT in NFL history behind only Aaron Donald, sources tell ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2020