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Impact of Derrick Brown’s extension with Panthers on Colts and DeForest Buckner

The Carolina Panthers and interior defender Derrick Brown agreed to an extension, which will have potential ripple effects that impact the Colts and DeForest Buckner.

Brown’s extension is for four years and worth $96 million, according to Adam Schefter, with $63.165 million guaranteed.

Brown’s big payday is another example of an interior defensive line market that has exploded recently. As Schefter noted, in the last year alone, Brown has now become the 10th interior lineman who has received a lucrative new contract.

Chris Jones: 5-years, $158.75M

Christian Wilkins: 4-years, $110M

Justin Madubuike: 4-years, $98M

Quinnen Williams: 4-years, $96M

Derrick Brown: 4-years, $96M

Jeffery Simmons: 4-years, $94M

Daron Payne: 4-years, $90M

Dexter Lawrence: 4-years, $90M

Leonard Williams: 3-years, $64.5M

Javon Hargrave: 4-years, $84M

The potential impact that this most recent signing has on the Colts is that Buckner is entering the final year of his current contract. In 2024, Buckner has a base salary of $20.25 million and a cap hit of $22.75 million, which is the second-largest on the team.

Buckner continues to stack impressive seasons. Since joining the Colts in 2020, Buckner has averaged 53.5 pressures per season and over eight sacks per year during that same span.

In 2023, Buckner ranked fourth among all interior defenders in pass rush grade from PFF. His 52 pressures ranked 14th, and he tied for seventh in pass rush win rate. Regardless of the defensive scheme, the best way to wreck any offensive play is with quick pressure up the middle.

However, despite being one of the more disruptive pass rushers at his position group, because of all the big contracts that have been earned around the NFL over the last year, Buckner very quickly became the 10th highest-paid interior defender for the 2024 season by average annual value and could slide to 11th with Green Bay’s Kenny Clark also in line for an extension.

Chris Jones is earning the most per year, with an average annual value of $31.75 million. Justin Madubuike is third for the 2024 season at $24.5 million, while Jeffrey Simmons is fifth at $24 million per year.

As time goes by, Buckner’s price tag is likely to only increase, given his level of play and the current state of the interior defensive line market.

Given that Buckner already comes with a rather large cap hit for the 2024 season, if the two sides were able to work out an extension prior to the season beginning, it would create cap space for the current year.

If the Colts were to extend Buckner and push as much cap space as they could to future years, Over the Cap projects that it would create $15.23 million in cap space for 2024. It’s unlikely that GM Chris Ballard goes that extreme in trying to squeeze every bit of cap savings out of 2024 that he can, especially with free agency past us, but that figure gives an idea of the savings potential the Colts have in striking a new deal.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire