DeForest Buckner

49ers get better idea of cost to retain Arik Armstead on franchise tag

49ers get better idea of cost to retain Arik Armstead on franchise tag

The 49ers now have a good idea of what it would cost to place the franchise tag on defensive lineman Arik Armstead.

Here’s a hint: It won’t be cheap.

Armstead is enjoying his breakout season along the 49ers’ defensive line. After registering nine sacks over his first four NFL seasons, Armstead this season has compiled a team-leading 10 sacks in 13 games.

The 49ers picked up the fifth-year option a year ago and are paying him $9.046 million this season. But his price tag will rise significantly next season.

Joel Corry, a former NFL player agent and current salary-cap expert for CBSSports.com, projects the franchise tag for defensive ends to be $17.95 million for the 2020 season.

A player qualifies at a specific position based on where he played more snaps. Armstead has played more snaps at defensive end than defensive tackle, according to Pro Football Focus.

[RELATED: 49ers fear nose tackle Jones out for year with ankle injury]

As much as the 49ers would like to retain Armstead, the team also wants to save as much cap space as possible to be able to sign such players as DeForest Buckner and George Kittle to multi-year contract extensions in the near future.

Buckner is expected to receive approximately $14 million in salary next season on the fifth-year option. Kittle is in line for a big new contract when his deal is up after the 2020 season.

NFL teams were informed at a league meeting this week that the 2020 salary cap is projected to jump from $196.8 million to $201.2 million. Corry came up with his numbers for the franchise and transition tags based on a projection of $200 million for the 2020 salary cap.

In 2020, teams are allowed to use both the franchise and transition tags on players scheduled to be free agents in the spring, Corry explains.

The non-exclusive franchise tag means that another team can sign a tagged player to a contract, but the original team has five days to match the contract terms. If that team does not match, it would receive two first-round draft picks as compensation. The exclusive franchise tag comes at a higher salary and prevents other teams from negotiating with the player.

A transition tag gives the incumbent team only the right to match a contract. There is no compensation for a team that chooses not to match an offer sheet for a player who is tagged as a transition player.

Teams are allowed to name their franchise and transition players beginning Feb. 25 through March 10.

49ers disappointed with lack of defensive execution in win over Saints

49ers disappointed with lack of defensive execution in win over Saints

NEW ORLEANS -- For the second week in a row, the 49ers' defense got off to a slow start on Sunday in their 48-46 win over the Saints

Prior to their matchup in New Orleans, the 49ers' defense was ranked second in the NFL by allowing only 267.4 yards of offense per game -- 116.6 on the ground and 150.8 through the air. Quarterback Drew Brees and the Saints crushed those numbers, with 465 yards of total offense. 

The defense was unable to sack Brees after successfully getting to opposing quarterbacks 45 times over their first 12 games. Missed tackles and blown assignments allowed the Saints to put up 27 points in the first half alone. 

Cornerback Richard Sherman, who left the game early with a hamstring injury, seemed more disappointed by the performance of the defense than upset. While the 49ers have often relied on their defense to control and direct the outcome of games, this time the offense was the difference maker

“Thank goodness for our offense,” Sherman said. “Thank goodness for Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, obviously Kyle Shanahan, the entire offense. They made plays when they had to. We’re thankful we got the win.” 

Sherman’s disappointment fell predominantly on the mistakes in basic coverage and a lack of execution. 

“It’s frustrating because of simple plays,” Sherman said. “It’s things we’ve gone over. It’s not like they beat us with a bunch of trick misdirection plays. These are day-one football plays that we have to execute better. 

“Give credit to them. Drew saw them, found the people that were open, and made the plays. Give them credit, they had a good plan coming in, but we have to execute better.” 

Defensive lineman DeForest Buckner couldn’t put his finger on why the defense came out flat for the second week in a row, but definitely recognized the issue. 

“Early on we needed to get our feet set and they jumped on us early,” Buckner said. “I feel like towards the second half we started to make key stops and keep them to field goals. They got us on that last drive. Our offense responded well and we know there’s things that we need to clean up.” 

[RELATED: 49ers' Moore mocks Saints for not knowing rule on fake punt]

The 49ers have a week to prepare for their next matchup facing the Falcons, and must have a much stronger start defensively. 

“We just have to come out with more energy,” Buckner said. “Two weeks we came out kind of slow and that’s just not like us. So we just got to get back to what we do and just take it one play at a time.”  

49ers fans make presence felt before, during 49ers' win over Saints

49ers fans make presence felt before, during 49ers' win over Saints

NEW ORLEANS — The Superdome is known as one of the NFL’s loudest venues, but the 49ers “Faithful” hit The Big Easy in droves for the huge NFC matchup with the Saints, and players definitely noticed. 

You could see it on Bourbon Street as early as Friday night, as 49ers flags hung from balconies and revelers wore a wide assortment of San Francisco jerseys. Red and gold clearly were the predominant colors of choice in the French Quarter.

On Saturday, at the “49ers Invasion” event, over 1,500 fans filled the downtown House of Blues venue to get ready for the game. Clearly thousands more entered the gates at the Superdome on Sunday and helped the 49ers pull out a thrilling 48-46 win over the Saints. 

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo nearly lost his voice trying to give the offense the plays in the huddle. But not all of the noise was coming from Saints fans. He was very aware of the 49ers fans, who got to the the game early and likely lost their own voices trying to yell over the Saints crowd throughout the game. 

“It was incredible, especially pregame,” Garoppolo said. “We went out there all the red and everything I mean, they were loud. We heard the defense chants and everything when our defense was out there.” 

Like Garoppolo, receiver Emmanuel Sanders was impressed by the number of fans in the building during pregame. He added it to the many reasons he is very happy with his new team in California. 

“Oh man, I walked out and thought it was a home game,” Sanders said. “When the game began, I was like the Saints fans definitely showed up. But [49ers fans] were loud today and they showed up. 

“I’ve been feeling it since Friday the we got here. I’ve been part of a lot of great organizations and 49ers fans travel well just like the rest of them. They are in the lobby. They are enthusiastic about their team and so I’m happy to be here.”  

Nick Bosa acknowledged that although it was far from a home game atmosphere, he heard the fans in cheering them on. 

“Our faithful travel really well,” Bosa said. “They were definitely here today and we appreciate it.”

[RELATED: How 49ers stayed calm on game-winning drive]

The Faithful have traveled well all season, following their team to several east coast venues but it seemed like even more than ever traveled the nearly 2,000 miles to Louisiana’s bayou. 

“I mean for them to travel all the way to New Orleans all the way from the bay,” Garoppolo said.  "Shout out to the Faithful, that was awesome. They were rockin’. We’ve had that multiple games this year. Just love showing out and it’s even better when we win.”