Armstead felt “extremely disrespected” by the 49ers’ final contract offer

By | March 29, 2024

Armstead felt ‘extremely disrespected’ by 49ers latest contract offer originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Although defensive tackle Arik Armstead said he feels no animosity toward the 49ers organization, he made it clear that the team’s eventual contract offer to him was an insult.

“They offered me six million dollars for a one-year contract, with incentives to go to eight [million]. And when they sent that, I felt extremely disrespectful,” Armstead said on his “Third and Long” podcast, posted Thursday.

Armstead spent about the first 15 minutes of his podcast explaining how the offseason played out, with him ultimately signing a three-year Jacksonville Jaguars contract.

“Nine years I’ve been there,” Armstead said. “The fans deserve to know what happened. You know, I had to make some decisions.

Armstead was set to receive a salary and bonuses totaling $18.26 million with the 49ers for the 2024 NFL season. However, San Francisco proposed a significant pay cut so he could remain with the team.

Armstead opened his podcast by listing his goals heading into the 2023 NFL season, which are to win a Super Bowl, be selected to the Pro Bowl and earn a third contract that pays him $20 million per season.

‘I had my goal [written] at the beginning of the season,” Armstead said. “I wanted to sign a four-year contract worth $80 million. That was my goal. That’s the player I felt I am. And players of my caliber, that’s what they make.”

But Armstead admitted he knew his contract goals could mean the 49ers might not be able to afford to keep him.

“Heading into this season, I felt like I could play myself out of San Francisco,” Armstead said. “I had that feeling and that feeling a little bit at the beginning of the season that it was a possibility. I understand the business of football. I see it. It would be tough to have two $20 million D-tackles and a $30 million Defense end and all that talent on our team. It’s an abundance of talent.

“I was like, ‘Man, that’s neither here nor there. I know what my goals are and let’s work on them this season. We have a great team and let’s go win the Super Bowl and see what happens.’ “

Armstead tore his meniscus against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13, but decided to play through the injury in the postseason rather than opt for surgery.

“Right after the Super Bowl, I felt like I played well in the playoffs, one of my best games, maybe my best game of my career in the Super Bowl,” Armstead said. “And I felt like everything was good. Like I felt like I was doing what I had to do to improve and show the type of player that I am to my team, to the rest of the league, to everyone, to myself.”

Armstead said the 49ers approached him early in the offseason, adding that they wanted him to extend him, but they didn’t tell him what the contract number might be. He said the 49ers told him later in the offseason that he needed a “significant pay cut,” and that’s where the $6 million contract offer comes into play.

“I have no animosity toward the organization whatsoever,” Armstead said. “Keel [Shanahan]John [Lynch]the York family has a lot of respect and admiration for them and my time with them and even with this situation, like it’s not up to me to decide how they want to build their team and who they want to pay and how they want to build their roster.

“That’s not my decision. Business is business. But also in football, business goes hand in hand with personal. We have personal relationships as coaches and as managers. And I know them and they know me. They’ve been with me for seven years.” .” So business goes hand in hand with personal. And that’s why these situations are difficult, because it’s about more than just numbers. We are dealing with people and we are dealing with good people, and so I understand that in football business you have to make difficult things. , difficult decisions.”

The 49ers’ $6 million contract offer caused Armstead to question his own worth.

“And so it was definitely tough at that point,” Armstead said. “I had to make some decisions. I played injured. I had surgery after the Super Bowl. So there’s that. I don’t know how other teams look at that. My team tells me they see me at this level.” of value, which I don’t agree with, but I don’t know what other teams think either.

“So I started doubting for a split second. It’s crazy how in this position you even start to doubt yourself a little bit. For a split second I thought, ‘Damn, am I really like this?’ Not so? No, that’s really not the case. I’m absolutely not.

“So for a split second I even doubted myself, like, ‘Damn, maybe I’m really not like that.’ And when I was talking to my wife, talking to my agent, and just talking to myself, I was like, ‘Man, no. Bro, if 32 teams had the opportunity to be on their team for six million dollars, I think every team in the league would do that in a heartbeat.”

Armstead said he couldn’t accept the 49ers’ $6 million contract for two reasons. He wouldn’t be able to live with himself and walk back to the team facility. He also worried about the kind of precedent this would set for other players in his position. Would the 49ers or any other team expect similar players of his stature to take a significant pay cut?

“I asked for my release,” Armstead said. “I gave the Niners the opportunity to take them up on their offer, but I had to see what else was out there. I had to see if other teams thought I was the player I know I am and appreciated that. And That was absolutely hectic.” and it was super stressful. And that being said, that’s why I’m no longer a Negro.”

General manager John Lynch said this week that the 49ers had brief trade discussions with the Houston Texans about Armstead.

Armstead’s representation had the opportunity to speak with teams prior to the start of the free-agent signing period to determine his market value.

When Armstead refused to accept the 49ers’ new contract offer, he was released.

That move created more than $18 million in salary cap space for the 49ers this year.

With an appointment after June 1, Armstead’s maximum dead money hit will be spread over two years. He expects the salary cap to be $10.31 million this year and $15.55 million next year.

“Eventually he wanted to see his value, and that was good for him because it was robust,” Lynch said. “You saw what he got in Jacksonville.”

Armstead signed a three-year contract worth $43.5 million with $28 million in guarantees – figures that were significantly higher than what the 49ers were willing to pay him.

“Ultimately he chose to bet on himself,” Lynch said, “and I think he made a good decision because his market was there.”

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