San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Arik Armstead is in the fifth and final year of his rookie contract. What happens beyond this season isn't clear. The team would like to keep Armstead, one of five first-round picks who make up the defensive front, but knows it can't afford to pay everybody.

"Arik has been tremendous for us this year," general manager John Lynch said on KNBR last month. "Arik's going to make a lot of money, whether it's with us or somebody else. He's playing really well and bringing a lot to the table. So we're glad we have him, and we're going to work hard to try to keep him, but you can only sign so many."

Armstead is making just over $9 million this year, which was the cost of his fifth-year option. He has recorded 14 tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble through four games this season. Armstead's 82.2 overall grade from Pro Football Focus is the highest of his career, and his 90.4 run defense grade ranks No. 2 among NFL defensive linemen and No. 4 among all defenders.

Armstead spoke with Mark Willard of KNBR on Thursday night and was asked about his contract status and Lynch's earlier comments.

"The compliments (from Lynch) were nice," Armstead responded. "That was pretty much the only thing I thought about it. Of course, him being the GM, you want to produce on the field, and you definitely want your coaches and your teammates to be proud to have you part of the team, and proud of your performances, and feel like you're a big part of what we have going on. That was good compliments. Definitely felt good.

"Beyond that, a lot of other things, contractually, are out of my control, and all I can focus on is going out there and trying to dominate in the game, and letting everything else take care of itself."

Armstead said the stress of potentially becoming a free agent is not much different from any other day in the NFL because you are always trying to prove you deserve the job.

"When you focus on what you can control day in and day out, and that's getting better and producing, the rest takes care of itself," Armstead continued. "So that's my mindset, not to look too far into the future. I really can't control what happens in the future. All I can control is what happens right now."

Armstead goes on to note that he loves that he was drafted by the 49ers, who aren't too far away from his hometown of Sacramento.

"I'm real comfortable here in Northern California," Armstead added. "Born and raised in this area. Been all over the Bay a bunch, so I was really fortunate to get drafted here and been playing here for five years. I definitely love it here in Northern California, being close to home."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Armstead below.