Arik Armstead On Why He Signed With Jaguars After 49ers Release And How Yoga Helps In His Recovery From Injury

Arik Armstead is ready to begin a new chapter of his career.

The 6-foot-7 defensive end spent the past nine years of his career with the San Francisco 49ers, establishing himself as one of the team’s best players as they advanced to two Super Bowls. The former first-round draft pick had served as a starter since the 2016 season and once led the Niners with 10 sacks during the 2019 season.

However, Armstead was released by the Niners after he felt “extremely disrespected” by a low-ball offer that saw San Francisco offer him a $6 million deal — incentives would lift it up to $8 million — to bring him back. Armstead instead signed a three-year, $43.5 million deal with the Jaguars to rejoin his former general manager in San Francisco, Trent Baalke.

“It is what it is,” Armstead says of the low-ball contract offer during an exclusive one-on-one interview. “For nine years I was there and it was truly special with the ups and downs. I wouldn’t have traded that for anything. I became a man there. I grew so much as not only a football player, but as a person. I have a lot of love and respect for a lot of people over there and that’s never going to change. All good things come to an end.”

While Armstead is disappointed how things ended in San Francisco, he leaves the door open on a potential return before the end of his career.

“Who knows, you know? Like I said, I have a lot more years left to play,” says Armstead. “I’m excited to be a Jaguar. Who knows how the rest of my career is going to go.”

Baalke was the Niners’ general manager when they selected Armstead in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Although Armstead turned down the Niners’ contract offer, he quickly found a much more financially favorable deal in Jacksonville with his former general manager. Baalke now serves as the general manager of the Jaguars.

“Once I was officially released and able to talk to teams and my agent was able to talk to teams, Trent (Baalke) reached out and we were able to figure out something that was great for me and the Jags,” says Armstead.

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