The 2024 offseason is shaping up to be a big one for the Indianapolis Colts. They are coming off a bounce-back season where the team won nine games and was a couple of plays away from the postseason. During the 2023 season, Indianapolis learned that it found the right head coach and quarterback for this next era of Colts football. Now the franchise must build a roster that can compete for Super Bowls.
That starts in free agency. Many of Indy’s core veterans will be free agents this offseason. Indianapolis will have to balance trying to re-sign guys like Michael Pittman Jr., Kenny Moore II, Grover Stewart, and Julian Blackmon, all while trying to bring in other big-name free agents. With all of that on Indy’s plate, there’s a belief that the Colts could also be willing to trade one of their best players.
Bleacher Report recently released an offseason trade guide for all 32 teams. In the guide, BR listed top trade assets and trade targets. For Indianapolis, one of its top trade assets was defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, and he was named a top target for a couple of teams.
DeForest Buckner named top trade target for Colts
Bleacher Report acknowledged that Buckner is one of the best defenders that Indy has. However, it was also pointed out that the veteran defensive tackle is entering the final season of his contract and trading him would free up $20.5 million in cap space. As far as where Buckner could end up: the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals were named as options.
BR even went as far as drawing up a hypothetical trade between Cincinnati and the Colts, sending Buckner to the Bengals and a 2024 second-round pick and 2025 fifth-round pick to Indianapolis.
While moving on from Buckner would definitely free up some money and bring back some nice picks, it seems like a move that’s extremely unlikely. Buckner is a pillar for the franchise and he’s still playing elite football. While he is playing on an expiring contract, the Colts likely want to see that through. Indianapolis is close to being a contender and moving Buckner would be a counterproductive move.