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49ers draft pick Arik Armstead stuck waiting to arrive in camp due to NFL academics rule

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The San Francisco 49ers have signed nine of ten rookies to contracts, with Arik Armstead the only one absent. We explain why that is the case.

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The San Francisco 49ers welcomed nine of their ten rookies on Monday, signing them to their four-year rookie contracts. The only rookie absent was Oregon defensive lineman Arik Armstead. The 49ers will have him in on Friday for rookie minicamp, but he is otherwise restricted from being with the team until the end of Oregon's academic semester, which is in early June.

The NFL has a rule that prohibits rookies from joining their team full time until after their school's academic calendar has concluded for the spring. For most schools, the semester system means this happens in early to mid-May. However, some schools operate on a quarter system, which does not conclude until early June. Oregon is on such a system, while it would appear none of the other nine draft picks have to deal with that.

Had Armstead graduated in the winter he would have been eligible to show up early, but he declared early and thus has not yet graduated. According to Oregon's website, finals run June 8 to June 12. The 49ers mandatory minicamp runs June 9-11. I believe he can report as soon as his finals are done, but I am not positive about that.

The NFL makes an exception for rookie minicamp, so Armstead will be able to come to the facility for this weekend's camp, but then has to depart immediately after that. The good news is the team will have some time to work with him, and get a strength and conditioning plan in place while he finishes up his classes. If they have not already, they can also get him a playbook to study over the next few weeks.

The 49ers very well could have gotten him one when he had his formal introduction on May 1, but there is no word on what they did. I'm guessing they had a marathon session of meetings with him knowing that he would not be around for much of the next month. It is an annoying rule, but one that teams must abide by.