Colts extend Pro Bowl DT DeForest Buckner, reportedly adding 2 years, $46M to contract

The Indianapolis Colts have spent their offseason re-signing players from their 2023 squad, and now it’s DeForest Buckner’s turn. The Colts announced Monday morning they have extended their highly-productive defensive tackle.

The Colts didn’t include any details about the extension. According to multiple reports, Buckner will be paid $46 million to stay another two years in Indy. His current deal ends after the 2024 season, so he’s tied to the Colts through 2026.

Buckner, 30, is entering his ninth season in the NFL, and his fifth in Indianapolis. He was drafted seventh overall by the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, and he has more than lived up to the expectations of that high draft slot. Over his career, he’s racked up 166 solo tackles, 32.5 sacks, 42 tackles for loss, 87 QB hits, and six forced fumbles, plus three elections to the Pro Bowl. The Colts acquired Buckner by trade in March 2020, sending their first-round draft pick to the Niners as compensation.

The Colts have signed defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to an extension reportedly worth $46 million over two years. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

The Colts, who have now brought back 10 players from the 2023 squad, went 9-8 in 2023, which isn’t a result most teams would willingly want to repeat. But head coach Shane Steichen and general manager Chris Ballard have a good reason to want to try again with the same group of players in 2024: Anthony Richardson. The Colts took Richardson, a quarterback, fourth overall in the 2023 draft. His start was a bit rocky, but they believed in Richardson’s ability to grow into the role.

Unfortunately, Richardson sustained a shoulder injury in Week 5 and eventually underwent surgery that caused him to miss the rest of the season, so it’s hard to blame the Colts for wanting a do-over on 2023. And by re-upping Buckner, wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., cornerback Kenny Moore, and others, they’re setting themselves up well even if Richardson struggles a bit in his return.

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