The San Francisco 49ers decided on the future of their defensive line, making a pair of huge moves Monday involving two of the key pieces to their Super Bowl run last season.
First, the team signed defensive end Arik Armstead to a five-year contract, the 49ers confirmed on Twitter. While the club did not disclose the finances involved, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Armstead will earn $48.5 million in guaranteed money on an $85 million deal.
Hours after Armstead’s agreement was reported, news broke of the team reportedly sending defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a first-round pick (No. 13 overall) in the 2020 NFL Draft.
According to the same reports, the Colts immediately agreed with Buckner to an extension that will average $21 million per season, making him the second-highest paid defensive tackle in annual average salary behind the Rams’ Aaron Donald and third-highest among all defensive players, also behind Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack.
Buckner was set to become a free agent after the upcoming season.
The 49ers were considering placing the franchise tag (worth approximately $17.8 million) on Armstead but instead were able to work out the deal. Armstead had 54 tackles, 10 sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 16 regular-season games. He had two more sacks in the postseason.
“I’m excited to continue my career with the 49ers, the organization that gave me a chance by drafting me five years ago,” Armstead said in a statement released by the team. “I want to thank the York family (and team coaches and executives) for acknowledging what I’ve done, both on and off the field, for this team since 2015. They have given me the platform to give back to my community and play the game I love at the highest level, and I am just getting started.”
Armstead, 26, has spent all five of his NFL seasons with the 49ers. He has 152 tackles and 19 sacks in 62 games (43 starts). Armstead was a first-round draft choice (17th overall) in 2015.
The 49ers took Buckner — who, like Armstead, played at Oregon — with the No. 7 overall pick a year later. Buckner, who turns 26 on Tuesday, had 62 tackles, nine tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries last season, returning one of those recoveries for his first career touchdown.
His best season was in 2018, when he had 67 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and 12 sacks — all career-high marks — and made his only Pro Bowl.
San Francisco announced another move later Monday, signing offensive tackle Shon Coleman to a one-year extension. Coleman, 28, was acquired in an August 2018 trade with the Cleveland Browns, and he has yet to appear in a game for the 49ers. He was inactive throughout the 2018 season, and he missed the entire 2019 season after breaking his right leg in a preseason game.
The 49ers were 13-3 last season, earning the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs and advancing to the Super Bowl, where they lost 31-20 to the Kansas City Chiefs.
–Field Level Media