The 49ers have made it official: Arik Armstead isn’t going anywhere.
The team will pick up the defensive lineman’s fifth-year option for 2019. There had been speculation that perhaps the 49ers would release Armstead – a former No. 1 pick – before March 13 to save $9 million that would be due to him after that.
But head coach Kyle Shanahan, speaking from Indianapolis where the NFL combine is being held this week, told reporters the team is keeping Armstead, who had a strong 2018 season.
“We’re not losing good players,” Shanahan said, according to Chris Biderman of the Sacramento Bee. “He has played very well for us. I think he can take it to a whole other level. I hope to see him do that this year. If he does that, that’s going to be very good for the Niners and very good for him, because he’s got the ability to do it.”
Armstead in 2018 started all 16 games, had 48 tackles and three sacks. Though his pass-rush numbers have been disappointing, his play against the run has been solid, Shanahan says.
Plus, Shanahan told reporters that new defensive line coach Kris Kocurek is going to tweak the defensive line scheme to hopefully get more out of first-round picks such as Armstead and Solomon Thomas.
Certainly, Armstead didn’t want to play anywhere else.
Tweeted Armstead: “In the bay for another year hopefully many more if I’m welcomed. #GodsPlan.”