49ers plan to release longtime defensive tackle Arik Armstead, AP source says

Estimated read time 3 min read

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers are planning to cut their longest tenured player by releasing defensive tackle Arik Armstead in a salary cap move, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.

Armstead will be released and hit the open market after the start of the new league year on Wednesday, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Sunday night because the team had not announced the move.

Bleacher Report first reported that the Niners planned to release Armstead.

Armstead was drafted by San Francisco in the first round in 2015 and is the only player remaining on the roster who was on the team when coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch took over in 2017.

Armstead was due to have a $17.4 million base salary and $28.4 million salary cap charge this season, leading the cap-strapped 49ers to make the move. Armstead will still carry a $25.9 million dead cap charge and the Niners will likely designate him a post-June 1 release. San Francisco will carry the entire cap charge until June, but can then delay $15.5 million of the charge until 2025. That will open up $18 million in cap room for this season.

The 30-year-old Armstead was hampered by injuries the past two seasons, playing only 21 regular-season games in that span because of injuries to his knee and foot. Armstead played through a torn meniscus in his right knee in the postseason and had surgery after the Super Bowl.

The Niners already have two other high-priced D-linemen on the roster in defensive tackle Javon Hargrave and defensive end Nick Bosa, contributing to the decision to move on from Armstead.

Armstead had five sacks in 12 games in the regular season in 2023 and added one more in the playoffs. He has 33 1/2 sacks in 116 career games in the regular season and his eight career sacks in the postseason are the second most in franchise history to Bosa’s 10.

The 49ers have several holes to fill on the defensive line this offseason with defensive ends Clelin Ferrell, Chase Young and Randy Gregory, and defensive tackles Javon Kinlaw and Kevin Givens set to become free agents on Wednesday.

Armstead, who grew up in the Sacramento area, has also been a stalwart contributor in the community during his nine seasons in San Francisco. He was the team’s nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award the past four seasons for his work helping schools.


AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi contributed to this report.


AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl