Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner is signed through the 2020 season. Unless an extension gets done this offseason, he will play the upcoming season on his fifth-year option.

The San Francisco 49ers would like to keep Buckner for the foreseeable future, and reportedly tried to make that happen last offseason, but the two sides weren't seeing eye-to-eye, according to former NFL scout and current writer for The Athletic John Middlekauff.

"I'm told the 49ers were offering a very lucrative deal last offseason," Middlekauff wrote for The Athletic, "but Buckner turned it down and chose to let it ride."

So how much money was included within the declined offer? Middlekauff told Guy Haberman on the Haberman and Middlekauff Podcast that he's heard it included something in the range of $60 million in guaranteed money. Middlekauff believes Buckner's representatives may be seeking a number closer to $70 million in guarantees.

Buckner's camp may be using Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox's deal signed in 2016 as a comparable, says Middlekauff. That contract included $63 million guaranteed ... four years ago.

The 49ers don't have the salary-cap space they once enjoyed, and also have tight end George Kittle's potential extension to figure out. Doing so sooner rather than later would be beneficial. The team also has to make decisions on key free agents like Arik Armstead, Emmanuel Sanders, and Jimmie Ward.

You can listen to the entire podcast discussion below.



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