Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Are the Deebo Samuel and DeForest Buckner situations similar? 49ers GM John Lynch weighs in

Rohan Chakravarthi
Apr 25, 2022 at 1:30 PM--

Two years ago, many San Francisco 49ers fans were in shock when standout defensive tackle DeForest Buckner was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for the 12th overall pick in the 2020 draft.

Buckner, a homegrown star and fan-favorite, ultimately earned a four-year, $84 million deal, while the 49ers chose to re-sign fellow defensive lineman Arik Armstead to a five-year, $85 million extension after a ten-sack season in his fifth year with the team.

Speaking about the emotional move during his pre-draft press conference, 49ers general manager John Lynch said that the current situation with Deebo Samuel is much different than their previous situation with DeForest Buckner.

"I think [the Deebo Samuel situation and the DeForest Buckner situation are] two completely different situations," Lynch said. "We had different motivations and reasons, whether that was a good decision or not. I think people will always analyze that, and I think that's still writing its own script."

Unlike the Buckner situation, where the 49ers chose to re-sign one player over another, there isn't another receiver that the 49ers have to pay. However, star defensive end Nick Bosa is due for an extension either this offseason or next.

Buckner has continued to play well in a Colts uniform, earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2021 and a Pro Bowl selection in 2022, becoming one of the cornerstones of a high-ranking Indianapolis defense.

Additionally, Lynch spoke on how hard the moment was, going as far as to call the move the hardest decision he's had to make as a member of the front office.

"I didn't take that [move] lightly, [and it was] still probably the hardest thing I've ever been involved with since I've been here because of everything that [Buckner] stands for," Lynch said. "I'm just proud of him that he's continued to play the way that he is."

The 49ers have gotten a good consolation prize in Armstead, who had a fantastic season for the 49ers in 2021 after sliding into the interior alongside former 49ers defensive tackle D.J. Jones, where he excelled against the run and the pass.

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