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Don’t put any money on Arik Armstead signing an extension with the San Francisco 49ers. Armstead is playing on his fifth-year option and is having the classic breakout season before he hits free agency this summer. He’s tied with DeForest Buckner and Dee Ford for the team lead with two sacks apiece, is third with three QB hits and tied for first with three tackles for a loss.
As general manager John Lynch said on KNBR on Friday, the man will be getting his money this offseason… and it doesn’t sound like it’s going to come from the 49ers.
“Arik Armstead has been tremendous for us this year,” Lynch said. “Arik is going to make a lot of money, whether it’s with us or somebody else. He’s playing really well and bringing a lot to the table. We’re glad we have him and we’re going to work hard to try to keep him, but you can only sign so many, so we’ll see where that goes.”
See, the 49ers have been planning for a while. They’re going to need to pay Buckner and George Kittle massive deals, which is part of the reason a trade for someone like Jalen Ramsey is so far-fetched (even when accounting for the NFL’s $10-plus million increase in salary cap each year). We looked at the precedent for both players here and the real possibility that Buckner receives around $70 million (for four years, on top of his fifth-year option) and Kittle receives $60 million (for five years, which would be $12 million more than the highest tight end contract on record).
While it’s unlikely those extensions are signed during the year, it’s not out of the question.
“We do like to finish things if we can, before the season, and/or address it in the offseason,” Lynch said. “But we don’t hesitate if it’s beneficial to both sides to do something during the season.”
Listen to John Lynch’s full interview on KNBR below, in which he also discusses how Dee Ford’s quad/knee tendinitis flared up again on the 49ers’ trip to Youngstown, Ohio, in which they practice on turf for three days.