The deadline for the San Francisco 49ers to place the franchise tag on versatile defensive lineman Arik Armstead is 8:59 a.m. PT. According to a few reports, one of them being Matt Maiocco, the 49ers won’t have to worry about tagging Armstead. Maiocco said, “the 49ers have not conceded Armstead will reach the open-negotiating period on Monday without a multi-year contract.” His source didn’t categorize how close the sides were to a contract agreement. CBS’s Jason LaCanfora, who, let’s just say has a history of being wrong, reported that the two sides are making “significant headway” toward a deal.
If the 49ers have to tag Armstead early Monday morning, so he doesn’t reach the open market, former NFL agent Joel Corry predicts it will cost just south of $17.8 million in 2020. There are exclusive and non-exclusive franchise tags. The main difference between the two is that on the “non-exclusive” tag, the player can negotiate with other teams, and the 49ers have the right to match any offer. If it gets that far, this tag makes the most sense considering the two sides had discussions and couldn’t come to an agreement.
For as long as Armstead has been in the league, he’s still only 26-years-old. The decision to extend Armstead is as close to a no-brainer as it gets when you saw his impact on the 49ers defense last season. Winning, a lot, outside, and winning, a lot, inside. For the first half of the season, Armstead was an All-Pro. Heavy snap counts were the reason his production dipped as the season went on, but that didn’t stop Armstead from winning his matchups. Ultimately, you’re not going to find a person to replace Arik. The best option is tagging and trading Armstead, and hoping you can sign a guy like Leonard Williams or hit a home run late in the first round. Good luck with that. Williams is a very good player. He’s not Armstead. A rookie? Not even close. Nick Bosa spoiled us. Guys like that don’t come around too often.
We’ll update once we have an idea what the 49ers’ next move is regarding Armstead.