Arik Armstead

Armstead ready for new Jaguars chapter, holds no animosity toward 49ers

NBC Universal, Inc.

SACRAMENTO — Arik Armstead believes everything happens for a reason.

The ex-49ers star spoke to NBC Sports Bay Area during his "Kick Off For Kids 2024" charity event over the week weekend and shared that while his initial reaction was disappointment to the team's one-year, $6 million offer from general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan, the four-time Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee is ready for the what lies ahead.

“I felt disrespected in the moment, but there is no animosity or anything,” Armstead said at his annual gala. “I love the people I was around, John, Kyle, my teammates, everybody in the organization. Had a lot of great years and I guess all good things come to an end at some point. God always puts you in the position you’re supposed to be."

Instead of accepting the 49ers’ short-term offer, Armstead -- who was released by San Francisco -- took his chances and it turned out to be the right decision.

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke, who drafted Armstead with the No. 17 overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft when he held the same position with the 49ers, offered a chance at a reunion. The two sides agreed on a three-year, $43.5 million contract, bringing the defensive tackle to the sunshine state through the 2026 season.

“It’s worked out how it’s supposed to,” Armstead said. “God always has a plan for our lives and puts you where you’re supposed to be, when you’re supposed to be there. Me and my family are excited and happy for the next journey and chapter of our lives and my career.”

Armstead has already visited his new team facility while attending organized team activities but made his way back to Sacramento for the Armstead Academic Program’s annual fundraising event.

The former Oregon Duck acknowledged Baalke’s presence with the Jaguars made an impact on his decision.

“It influenced a lot, having a rapport with somebody who knows you as a player and a person is always helpful,” Armstead. “We were able to have some good conversations and figured something out.

Armstead will be joining a talented defensive front including outside linebacker Josh Allen, who finished the 2023 season with 17.5 sacks while his counterpart Travon Walker racked up 10.0 sacks.

Armstead is looking forward to his new surroundings as well as being a part of an up-and-coming team that has put together back-to-back 9-8 seasons after posting four consecutive losing campaigns.

The longtime 49er now looks back with fond memories of his time in the Bay Area.

“I felt disrespected in the moment, but being a few weeks removed from that, I’m happy and I’m excited for my new opportunity,” Armstead said.

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