Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner are close friends. The two have been teammates since 2012, first with the Oregon Ducks and then again when the San Francisco 49ers made Buckner a first-round pick in 2016 — a year after Armstead was drafted No. 17 overall.

Armstead, who joined KNBR on Thursday, says he didn't have a clue that, as his contract extension with the 49ers was being finalized, a deal was nearly complete to break up the pair. San Francisco couldn't afford to keep both, with Buckner due to receive a massive contract extension.

Two days after Armstead, who was about to become a free agent, agreed to a five-year deal worth up to $85 million to remain with the Niners, Buckner was shipped to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for the No. 13 overall pick. Buckner received his payday from the Colts, signing a four-year, $84 million contract extension and becoming the second-highest-paid defensive tackle in the game.

"I didn't have any knowledge of it, so I kind of signed, and then I heard of that," Armstead told Greg Papa and John Lund. "It was a shock to me."

Armstead revealed that the unexpected news left him confused. He thought the two would be playing together in 2020, and possibly for the foreseeable future. At the same time, Armstead is excited about the opportunity his friend will have with the Colts.

"I know he's going to do amazing things out there with the Colts," he added, "and be a big boost for their organization. I'm super happy for him."

Armstead's versatility could make him an option to help mitigate the loss of Buckner. The team has other options like D.J. Jones, too, and could even draft a replacement in a couple of weeks.

"It's a huge loss," Armstead continued. "He's an irreplaceable player. I haven't talked to the coaches about their thoughts and plans this coming up year. Last year, I played base end. ... I'm comfortable in that role, and that's what I've had success at. I don't know about changing it too much."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Armstead below, which includes information on the great work he is doing to help Sacramento-area restaurants amid the coronavirus pandemic.



You May Also Enjoy...