Ex-Captain Arik Armstead Sends Strong Message to 49ers: ‘Extremely Disrespected’

Arik Armstead

Getty Arik Armstead voiced his thoughts on the 49ers letting him go.

Less than a month after the San Francisco 49ers let him go, former captain and defensive tackle Arik Armstead let his former team know how it felt.

The 49ers released Armstead earlier this month after he refused to take a pay cut amid the team’s dire salary cap situation. A former No. 17 pick with the 49ers in 2015, Armstead joined the Jacksonville Jaguars as a free agent in March.

“First off, I want to say I don’t have any animosity toward the organization — Kyle [Shanahan], John [Lynch], the York family,” Armstead during the “Third and Long” podcast on March 27. “I did feel extremely disrespected.”

Armstead noted that the 49ers gave him an offer, but the video muted how much pay. He previously had a five-year, $85 million deal with the 49ers.

“Nine years of me being there, the fans deserve to know what happened,” Armstead added. “You know, I had to make some decisions.”

A Sacramento native, Armstead impressed the 49ers as a collegiate star at Oregon. His role with the 49ers grew over the years as he accrued 302 tackles, 33.5 sacks, 88 quarterback hits, 3 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries in 116 games.

Armstead also helped the 49ers reach two Super Bowls and four NFC Championship games. He has 38 tackles, 8.0 sacks, 13 quarterback hits, a forced fumble and fumble recovery in his playoff career.

Jacksonville signed Armstead to a three-year, $43.5 million deal.

Kyle Shanahan: ‘It Was Real Tough’

Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan said “it was real tough” to let Armstead go during the annual NFL league meeting in Orlando on Tuesday.

“We’ve been with Arik since we’ve been here and I know he was here a couple years before us. It wasn’t something we really wanted to happen,” Shanahan told reporters.

“It was one of the tough things, trying to keep the team together and the way it goes with the salary cap and stuff. He got in a good spot. Really happy for him and where he ended up, but hated to see him go,” Shanahan added.

John Lynch: ‘We Worked With Arik’

Niners general manager John Lynch said “we worked with Arik” to get an extension done, but it didn’t work in the end.

“Some realities come to bear that you can’t keep everybody, and so you have to make some tough judgments,” Lynch told reporters at the owners meetings in Orlando on Monday. “And we worked with Arik, and really appreciative of he and his family and representative of trying to work something out with 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,” Lynch added. “I mean, you saw what he got in Jacksonville. So he bet on himself, and good for Arik.”

“Those are tough decisions. Arik’s done so much for our team,” Lynch concluded. “He’s such a fabric of who we are as a team, the work he does, and the community. … But ultimately, he chose to bet on himself, and I think he made a good call because his market was there.”

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