SANTA CLARA — Whatever money the 49ers earmarked for the defensive tackle position could very well be part of a historic contract. For one of their own.
DeForest Buckner is eligible for an extension after his third season produced 12 sacks and a Pro Bowl debut.
With fellow first-round picks Arik Armstead and Solomon Thomas pegged to rotate inside next to Buckner on passing downs, the 49ers enter free agency without a great need at that position entering free agency.
Veteran nose tackle Earl Mitchell became expendable with the maturation of D.J. Jones, but could the 49ers reverse course and seek an experienced run-stuffer?