News emerged earlier on Monday that the sides were closing in on a deal, and after the 49ers did not use their franchise tag on Armstead, they finalized an extension. Armstead will receive up to $85M on this five-year contract, per Rapoport.
Many labeled Armstead as a bust early on, but he silenced critics with his performance in 2019. Pro Football Focus pegged the former first-rounder as the sixth-best edge defender out of 107 qualified players in the category. Meanwhile, Jadeveon Clowney ranked 20th, Shaquil Barrett ranked 25th, and Yannick Ngakoue ranked 36th. Barrett led the league with 19.5 sacks while Armstead recorded “just” ten sacks, but he had more quarterback hurries, which is perhaps a better indicator of sacks to come.
Some may say that Armstead is something of a one-hit wonder, dismissing his 2019 season as a well-timed burst before free agency. However, the talent has been there all along, and the Niners are confident that he’ll continue to build on that performance. It’s worth noting that Armstead has generated a hurry on over 9.2 percent of his pass-rush snaps over his career – none of the aforementioned players have topped 7.8 percent.
Along with Nick Bosa and Dee Ford, Armstead has helped to turn one of the Niners’ biggest weaknesses into the team’s greatest strength. With a new deal, San Francisco will aim to keep that momentum going.
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