Jaguars, DT Arik Armstead Agree To Deal

Arik Armstead has not needed to wait long to find a new team, but his next opportunity will not come from one previously on the radar for an agreement. The ex-49ers defensive tackle has a deal in place with the Jaguars, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. This will be a three-year, $51MM pact, per Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report.

Armstead was released by the 49ers at the onset of free agency, but to no surprise he generated considerable interest in short order. The Bills and Texans were among the suitors known to be showing interest in the former first-round pick, but no Jacksonville connections were in place entering Thursday. However, Jaguars GM Trent Baalke was at the helm of the 49ers when Armstead was drafted in 2015.

Dianna Russini of The Athletic reports the Titans were also interested in Armstead in addition to Buffalo and Houston. The latter franchise went as far as setting up a player-for-player trade, she adds. The 49ers and Texans had a swap of Armstead and Maliek Collins on the table before Houston agreed to terms with edge rusher Danielle Hunter. That pact led to the trade falling through, per Russini and colleague Matt Barrows. In spite of that, Armstead will still be headed to Duval County not long after Collins wound up being dealt to San Francisco anyway.

The former racked up five sacks in 2023, the third-highest total of his career. Especially with that figure coming in 12 regular season games, Armstead could provide an interior pass-rushing presence if he can remain healthy with Jacksonville. He managed to play in all three games in San Francisco’s postseason (which resulted in a Super Bowl berth), and his experience in multiple deep postseason runs will be welcomed on the Jaguars.

Jacksonville made the expected move of using the franchise tag on sack leader Josh Allen. Talks on a long-term deal will continue with the two-time Pro Bowler, but he and Travon Walker will remain in place along the edge for at least one more season. Armstead will play in between that pair as part of an upgraded Jags D-line. Last offseason, Baalke handed DaVon Hamilton a three-year, $34.5MM extension and he will partner with Armstead for years to come.

The Jaguars entered Thursday near the bottom of the league in cap space, though in all cases that is a situation which is especially fluid this time of year. Further big-money deals would be challenging for the team to work out, but this Armstead acquisition could prove to be an effective one if he remains productive in the second chapter of his career.

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