Source – 49ers plan to release veteran DL Arik Armstead


SANTA CLARA, Calif. – One season removed from earning a coveted spot on the wall at the San Francisco 49ers facility that honors those who played at least 10 years with the team, defensive lineman Arik Armstead is expected to become a free agent.

A source confirmed to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Sunday night that Armstead and the Niners were trying to work out a restructured contract and that after coming close but not reaching an agreement, Armstead is expected to be released and become a free agent.

Armstead is coming off a season where he played in 12 games with 27 tackles and five sacks. He will also command $28.53 million against the 2024 salary cap, which is why the Niners sought a reworked deal to lower that number.

While releasing Armstead would save the 49ers about $18.2 million in cash for next year, they would incur a $25.86 million dead-money cap and save only $2.492 million against the cap if released immediately. However, the Niners could save more than $18 million against the cap if they add the post-June 1 designation, which would spread the remaining dead money over future years.

As Armstead prepares for the potential of his second foray into unrestricted free agency, he is also coming off a torn meniscus in his right knee, an injury he suffered in a Dec. 3 win at the Philadelphia Eagles. Armstead exited that game after suffering the injury on the second play, but he did not play again until the Jan. 20 NFC divisional round win against the visiting Green Bay Packers.

He was listed on subsequent injury reports with knee and foot injuries (plantar fasciitis), but he said after the season that the knee problem was the most problematic of the setbacks.

“I thought my season was over after the Philly game,” Armstead said on Feb. 13. “I tore my meniscus and didn’t know if I would be able to come back and put in a lot of hard work. back for the playoffs.”

Armstead appeared in all three of San Francisco’s playoff games, posting 11 tackles, a sack, seven quarterback pressures and a fumble recovery on 148 snaps. He said in February that while knee surgery will require a lengthy recovery, he hopes to return sometime in late July or August when training camps start.

San Francisco originally used pick No. 17 in the 2015 NFL draft on Armstead. He started his career as a defensive end, but after dealing with numerous injury issues early in his career, he transitioned to an interior role in 2019. A breakout 10-sack season that year helped him land an early five-year deal worth $85 million. in 2020 free agenc.

During nine seasons in San Francisco, Armstead played in 116 regular season games, posting 33.5 career sacks. He also appeared in twelve postseason games and recorded eight sacks.

Armstead, a native of nearby Sacramento, is not only San Francisco’s longest-tenured player, he has also been a philanthropic mainstay in the Bay Area and in his hometown. For the past four years, he was nominated by the Niners for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.

Bleacher Report first reported Armstead’s expected release.

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