49ers face decisions on Arik Armstead, Robbie Gould and other veterans


The 49ers arrived at one roster decision last week when they informed veteran nose tackle Earl Mitchell the club would not pick up his option for next season.

Now, the club must sift through a few other scenarios before March 13, which signals the start of the new league year.

“All of these scenarios, we’re always looking forward and doing a lot of planning,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said last week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

“Earl’s the one decision we’ve made thus far. We’re going to be working through some of the others in the near future.”

Lynch made it clear the 49ers would like to re-sign scheduled free agent kicker Robbie Gould. The continuation of that union could take both sides agreeing to a new contract, though the 49ers do have the option of tagging him as their franchise player.

“We’re hopeful to work things out with Robbie,” Lynch said. “He’s kicked unbelievably for us. He’s been incredibly clutch for us, and we’d like to reward him for that.”

In the past two seasons after signing a two-year, $4 million contract with the 49ers as a free agent in 2017, Gould has connected on 72 of 75 field-goal attempts (96 percent). The franchise tag for a kicker is expected to be approximately $5 million.

The 49ers also have decisions to make on the scheduled 2019 contracts for wide receiver Pierre Garçon, defensive end Arik Armstead and linebacker Malcolm Smith.

“We’ll be working through them,” Lynch acknowledged.

The 49ers are not expected to pick up the option on Garçon’s contract, which would make him an unrestricted free agent and open to sign with any team on March 13. Garçon is scheduled to make $6 million in 2019 in salary and bonuses. The move would save the 49ers approximately $1 million on the salary cap.

The 49ers last offseason picked up the $9 million fifth-year option for Armstead, a first-round draft pick in 2015. The one-year deal for 2019 becomes fully guaranteed on the first day of the new league year. The 49ers can only avoid paying Armstead the lucrative sum if they choose to release him before that date.

“We haven’t been in communication,” Lynch said. “We’re working through that like a lot of other issues. What I can say is Arik played some really good football for us. We were excited about the way he played, particularly at the end of last year.

“I think, much like (Solomon Thomas), he kind of found a place he was comfortable playing and really contributed at a high level for us.”

[RELATED: Armstead played through broken bone in hand to achieve goal]

Smith is scheduled to make a little more than $4 million in salary and bonuses this season. The 49ers would save approximately $1.2 million on the cap if they were to release him. Smith, who turns 30 in July, missed the entire 2017 season with a torn pectoral. He had an injury-plagued 2018, too, appearing in 12 games with just five starts.

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