49ers: Why Arik Armstead’s Roster Spot may be in Jeopardy

Recently, NBC’s lead insider covering the San Francisco 49ers, Matt Maiocco, reported the 49ers have plenty of cap space to pick up Arik Armstead’s fifth-year option for the 2019 season.


Back on January 25th, 2018, Niners Live explained to the 49er Faithful: Why the Forty-Niners won’t give up on Arik Armstead just yet. However, that doesn’t mean his roster spot may not be in jeopardy. Now, hold that thought…In the Armstead article, I broke down his career, scheme fit, attributes, upside and untapped potential that defensive coordinator Robert Saleh raves about.

And speaking of fifth-year options, last year’s value for a defensive end from picks 11-32 was worth $8,625,000, while the defensive tackle salary was $6,892,000 ( according to CBSSports.com). 

Will the 49ers pick up Armstead’s fifth-year option? That is the question. The 49ers have until May third, which is the deadline for picking up the fifth-year options on first-round picks. Important to note: The 49ers recently made safety Jimmie Ward’s 5th-year option fully guaranteed for 2018. 

Why Arik Armstead’s roster spot may be in Jeopardy

Injuries ( appeared in 30 of the possible 48 available games) and inconsistencies have helped derailed Armstead’s production on the field and his potential to be a steady Pro or a Pro Bowl caliber player. The 49ers have tried to play Armstead all over the line of scrimmage from the “Leo” position, Big “End”, defensive tackle, etc. The results? Flashes of what ifs, almost, and what could have been.

  • Will Armstead rise to the occasion? 
  • Will Armstead finally fulfill his potential? 
  • Will Armstead be a force as a pass-rusher? 

The 49ers’ defensive line/pass rushing depth chart is growing and getting crowded. It features; DeForest BucknerSolomon Thomas, Sheldon DayPita TaumoepenuEli HaroldCassius MarshJeremiah AttaochuEarl Mitchell, and D.J. Jones. With the 2018 NFL draft soon to be upon us, the 49ers will surely look to add to this defensive talent pool to increase competition and improve the roster.

That means someone’s got to go. Could it be Armstead? Only time will tell. But what we can go out on a limb and say, at the very least, is his 53 man roster spot on opening day is in Jeopardy.

To be continued…..

Please join us again soon on Niners Live, the home of the faithful fan and analyst from an objective/analytical lens, of course. Often imitated, but never duplicated.

All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.comPro Football Focus49ers.comESPN.comNFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author, Content Creator, player break down specialist, Co-Editor, Sequoia Sims