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Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

Should the 49ers trade Arik Armstead?

Rohan Chakravarthi
Feb 25, 2023 at 2:15 PM--

As the offseason progresses and free agency nears, the San Francisco 49ers are looking to clear up cap space and improve on their current $8 million, which brings into question the idea of restructures, trades, and cuts.

Among the forefront of the topic? Defensive tackle Arik Armstead, who is scheduled to make $23.9 million in 2023, and has been subject to restructure talks.

Earlier today, I highlighted why restructuring Armstead would be a mistake for the organization, listing out the details of his contracts and how the 49ers have much better options to create cap space.

However, a trade regarding Armstead would be even worse.


Armstead is scheduled to make $23.9 million in 2023 and $25.8 million in 2024, which certainly are high cap hits for a player entering his 30s.

However, it would be a massive mistake to think about moving the defensive tackle in 2023.

Because of the restructure that the 49ers did ahead of the 2022 season, Armstead currently holds a dead cap charge of $21.9 million, and would only save $2 million in 2023, which is unfeasible if the player isn't going to be on your roster.

If a trade were to be entertained, it would come in 2024 at the earliest, when Armstead's dead-cap charge would be $14.3 million, while the 49ers would save $11.5 million in cap space.


Arik Armstead is one of the most underrated 49ers when he's healthy.

Many choose to box-score scout and see Armstead's sack numbers, but they don't paint the full picture at all.

Armstead is a three-down player, which the 49ers saw were extremely vital over depth during the 2022 season, and does both tasks at a high rate.

While he may not generate the sack numbers that his contract suggests, Armstead often eats up double teams, creating for his teammates, and consistently shows up in the playoffs, which is exactly what you pay for.

However, in terms of trade value, Armstead holds more value to the 49ers than other teams because they are unlikely to fetch a significant return for a 30-year-old defensive lineman with a big contract.

Without an extreme package in return, it doesn't make any sense for the 49ers to trade Armstead's, understanding the significant dead cap charge that comes with a trade in 2023.

Now, the 49ers could very well look to entertain offers in 2024, especially if they sign a high-caliber defensive tackle that commands a high salary, but it doesn't make sense to move the longtime 49er this offseason pre-June 1st.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


  • BW
    @Frank Buckner had been good but not great? Yo dog, put down the crack pipe! His first year in Indy he made first team All pro, and followed that up with a Pro Bowl selection. PFF has him ranked as the 4th best interior DL after the 2023 season. Armstead didn't make the top 25, but he's getting paid top dollar!
    Feb 26, 2023 at 7:53 PM
  • DRL
    They should have traded him and kept Buck, but they works have received a 4th round pick at best. According to PFF, Armstead doesn't even make the top 25 at interior DL. For the kind of money that he's getting that is pathetic! He was a non-factor in the playoffs AGAIN! It's time to move on. Meanwhile, Deforest Buckner is ranked 4th OVER ALL!!!
    Feb 26, 2023 at 12:01 AM
  • Frank
    In a! The only thing the Niners need to do with Armstead is get him a stud DT to play alongside him. Forget Kinlaw, he's been a major disappointment. The others who've taken their turns in the middle have done ok, but they've gotten hurt, too. Fans clinging to the Buckner over Armstead thing have to get over it. Eric's been a stud...Buckner's been good in Indy, but definitely not great.
    Feb 25, 2023 at 10:51 PM
  • BigAl
    Buckner over Armstead is completely irreleavant. On the field they have proved to be interchangable. U cant say that 'oh, well, had we kept Buck, we woulve won a SB by now ' No, we wouldnt have. It has nothing to do with the issues that have kept this team from a SB. I dont undestand why clowns still even bring it up, it completely minimizes how good Armstead is.
    Feb 25, 2023 at 10:29 PM
  • Big Al
    Who is saying this nonsense? Ppl need to understand that had Kinlaw been any good, we easily wouldve won that trade. There was perfect sense in it, just unconventional. But anyway the defense is night and day different with him on the field. Bosas not winning DMVP without Armstead. Hes not better than Justin Smith was, I dont think, and their play isnt really similiar.....But he has the same type of impact. Hes the glue on the defense and a nightmare for OL. Nobody looks foward to playing Armstead.
    Feb 25, 2023 at 10:22 PM
  • Robby617
    Not only do I think he should be traded, (after June 1st) he should have never been signed over Buckner. I know that the past is the past, but you do not trade a generational talent in favor of a pretty good one that has had one good season. Armstead does do a lot of things that do not show up on the stat sheet. But for the money he gets paid and where that puts him i paid ranking of edge rushers, he should b stufffing the stat sheet. Blut then, who takes his place?
    Feb 25, 2023 at 8:56 PM


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