June 25, 2024

Sometimes athletes are causalities of the game and salary cap, with Arik Armstead being the biggest of the 49ers’ tough calls this offseason.

The organization released the former captain of the San Francisco 49ers after both sides were unable to come to terms on a restructured contract.

The Sacramento native was the Red & Gold’s long-tenured member with the club, spending his first nine seasons with the 49ers.

But after another failed quest for Super Bowl No.6, some tough decisions had to be made for the future of the roster. And sadly, it resulted in Armstead leaving the club that drafted him.

“We’ve been fortunate to draft and acquire a lot of really talented players, and we’ve rewarded a lot of them. Some realities come to bear that you can’t keep everybody.

And so, you have to make some tough judgments,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said at the NFL meetings in Orlando.

“We worked with Arik, really appreciative of him and his family and representative trying to work something out [on a] restructured contract.

[We] took a couple different whacks at different ideas, and ultimately, he wanted to go see what his value [was] and good for him, because it was robust.”

The Sacramento native signed a three-year, $51 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason.

That cap figure was something the 49ers weren’t prepared to match for a player who missed 13 regular-season games the last two seasons due to injury. Additionally, Armstead was projected to be a $28.4 million cap hit for the team in 2024, the third-highest total behind Trent Williams and Deebo Samuel.

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