Arik Armstead

Arik Armstead gives wisdom to the current Oregon Ducks team

Arik Armstead gives wisdom to the current Oregon Ducks team

The Ducks have been picking the brains of those that have come before them.

Last week, running back LaMichael James joined the running back committee over Zoom to offer some insight, and now Arik Armstead has gotten in on the fun.

We take it went well by the reaction of head coach Mario Cristobal.

Armstead was the 17th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft taken by the San Francisco 49ers. Armstead turned in a career-best season in 2019 totaling 10 sacks, and two more in the postseason. 

Following the 49ers' 31-20 loss to Kansas City in Super Bowl LIV, Armstead said he wanted to return to San Francisco and was even open to the franchise tag, which would have paid him at least the average of the ten-highest paid defensive lineman in the NFL. He instead opted to sign a 5-year, $85 million contract extension this offseason, but the deal forced the 49ers to ship out his former Oregon teammate DeForest Buckner, which GM John Lynch said was "probably the toughest thing I’ve done since I’ve been a General Manager here." 

With Oregon, Armstead only had four sacks in three seasons but got selected in the first round due to his impressive measurables and frame. The 6-foot-8, 280-pound lineman would fulfill his potential in the NFL becoming one of the league's best, and highest-paid players at this position. 

Former Duck Arik Armstead urges followers to help Sacramento restaurants

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USA Today Images

Former Duck Arik Armstead urges followers to help Sacramento restaurants

Arik Armstead played college football for the Oregon Ducks in Eugene, Oregon and moved to the Bay Area, where he is one of the stars on the San Francisco 49ers daunting defensive line. 

But his hometown of Sacramento, California will always hold a special place in his heart. 

It’s why the recently re-signed defensive end has asked his Twitter followers and Instagram followers to do their part in helping small businesses in his hometown. 

“As you all know Sacramento is my hometown that I love deeply and is home to some of the best restaurants in US,” Armstead said in a post on Twitter. “What you may not know is Sacramento is comprised of over 60% small business (mainly restaurants) that are struggling during this difficult time.”

In effort to support the community, Armstead asked his followers to take photos of food they’ve purchased from their favorite Sacramento restaurants for a chance to win 49ers tickets, memorabilia and more. 

View this post on Instagram

As you all know Sacramento is my hometown that I love deeply and is home to some of the best restaurants in the US. What you may not know is Sacramento is comprised of over 60% small business (mainly restaurants) that are struggling during this difficult time. Many of these restaurants are offering dine-out and delivery options to try to stay afloat. In order to support local, I am rewarding people who support their local restaurants during this time. Buy food from one of your favorite Sacramento restaurants and be entered to win GAME TICKETS , AUTOGRAPHED MEMORABILIA + MORE INSTRUCTIONS ⬇️: . 1. Comment your favorite Sacramento restaurants in the comments 2. Post a picture via story or timeline of your meal using #Eat91Six + tag restaurant 3. Tag @sacnina91 & @unitesac916 so we can share & promote the Sacramento restaurant 4. 5 qualified winners will be randomly chosen starting Wednesday April 1 via my Instagram Story (unlimited entries)

A post shared by Arik Armstead (@sacnina91) on

It’s easy to enter. Simply use the hashtag #EAT91SIX on Instagram or Twitter when you share a photo of the food you ordered and tag or mention the restaurant. 

Here’s a couple of Armstead’s favorites if you are in the Sacramento area and looking for inspiration. 

Before Armstead was a Pac-12 Champion with the Ducks, he attended Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove, a community 15 miles outside of Sacramento. He’s given back to the community on numerous occasions through his Armstead Academic Project, which provides workshops and school supplies for those in need in the Sacramento public school system. 

Arik Armstead sad to see Ducks & 49ers teammate DeForest Buckner go

Arik Armstead sad to see Ducks & 49ers teammate DeForest Buckner go

This past Monday was a bittersweet one for many Oregon Duck fans, but most of all former player Arik Armstead.

Hours after he agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract to remain with the San Francisco 49ers, Armstead's Oregon and 49er teammate DeForest Buckner was traded to the Indianapolis Colts, becoming the second-highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL in the process.

The Niners drafted Armstead (17th overall) and Buckner (7th overall) in back-to-back drafts to anchor the defensive line. They ultimately became one of the best defensive lines in the NFL with the arrival of Nick Bosa this past season, resulting in coming up just short of winning a Super Bowl. 

 Armstead was sad to see his teammate of seven of the past eight seasons go. 

"It was a crazy day, you know, super excited that he got that payday," Armstead told NFL Network's Sam Wyche on Wednesday. "Wish it was with us, you know, DeFo and I have been playing alongside each other for so many years now, so it was definitely a weird day. Mixed emotions. Super happy for him that he got that payday and I know he's going to do great things out there, but definitely wish we were still playing together and continuing our careers together."

Despite the trade, Armstead's still ecstatic to remain a 49er. 

"Man, it's amazing," Armstead said. "I really didn't want to be anywhere else. I'm from Sacramento. The 49ers drafted me five years ago, and going through the process, I never really imagined myself anywhere else, so it wasn't necessarily about the money for me. I wanted to be in San Fran and try to get back to the Super Bowl."

If Armstead can continue his stellar play from last season, and the Niners use the draft capital received from the trade wisely, perhaps the Niners will be back in the Super Bowl again this season.

Arik Armstead bids farewell to teammate, friend & roommate DeForest Buckner

Arik Armstead bids farewell to teammate, friend & roommate DeForest Buckner

Two Oregon Duck legends, former college roommates, drafted to the same NFL team separated by just one year and now their reign of terror as a duo in the NFL has run its course.

San Francisco 49ers defensive linemen Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner are parting ways as of Monday, March 16.

[RELATED]: Former Oregon Duck Arik Armstead signs 5-year, $85 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers

[RELATED]: Former Oregon Duck DeForest Buckner traded to Indianapolis Colts

Armstead was the No. 17 overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft; Buckner the No. 7 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

The two have been side-by-side throughout their collegiate and professional careers. 

Unfortunately, their time is up.

Armstead posting a heartfelt message to Buckner on Twitter on Monday afternoon:

Social media was quick to share their feelings, as well:

https://twitter.com/UncBellerin/status/1239711208871256066?s=20

 

Former Oregon Duck Arik Armstead signs 5-year, $85M deal with San Francisco 49ers

Former Oregon Duck Arik Armstead signs 5-year, $85M deal with San Francisco 49ers

Earlier this month, the San Fransico 49ers were reportedly working on a deal to bring defensive lineman Ark Armstead back to the Bay. 

One day after the agreement of the new collective bargaining agreement between the owners and players association, Armstead has an agreement, as well.

[RELATED: NFLPA ratifies new CBA; here's what you need to know]

ESPN NFL Writer Nick Wagoner first reported that Armstead and the 49ers were closing in on a deal and named the lineman as the team's "top free-agent priority". 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport later revealed the deal's five seasons and up to $85 million, which is almost certainly not the guaranteed number. 

A deal couldn't be made until the CBA had been agreed upon because of changes to the salary cap and players' pay scales being made in the new agreement. 

San Francisco selected the former Oregon Duck with the 17th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, and Armstead turned in a career-best season in 2019 totaling 10 sacks, and two more in the postseason. 

Following the 49ers' 31-20 loss to Kansas City in Super Bowl LIV, Armstead said he wanted to return to San Francisco and was even open to the franchise tag, which would have paid him at least the average of the ten-highest paid defensive lineman in the NFL. But he avoids the long-term uncertainty that goes along with the tag by agreeing to the five-season deal here. 

With Oregon, Armstead only had four sacks in three seasons but got selected in the first round due to his impressive measurables and frame. The 6-foot-8, 280-pound lineman would fulfill his potential in the NFL becoming one of the league's best, and highest-paid, players at this position. 

San Francisco 49ers "working" on a deal to re-sign Arik Armstead

San Francisco 49ers "working" on a deal to re-sign Arik Armstead

As his rookie contract ends, Arik Armstead prepares to test free agency for the first time in his professional career, and he's one of the top defensive linemen on the open market. 

After San Francisco selected the former Oregon Duck with the 17th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Armstead turned in a career-best season in 2019 totaling 10 sacks, and two more in the postseason. 

Following a disappointing loss in Super Bowl LIV, Armstead said he wants to return to San Francisco and was even open to the franchise tag, which would pay at least the average of the ten-highest paid defensive lineman in the NFL.

ESPN's Josina Anderson reports that the feeling is mutual and the San Francisco 49ers want to get a deal done to bring Armstead back to Santa Clara. 

The 49ers also have wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and safety Jimmie Ward as pending free agents they will need to take care of. According to Overthecap.com, the 49ers only have about $13 million in cap space so they may need to restructure some deals to afford all three. 

Arik Armstead open to the franchise tag to remain with the 49ers

Arik Armstead open to the franchise tag to remain with the 49ers

Now that Super Bowl LIV is in the books, it's time to move forward for Arik Armstead.

The former Oregon Duck and current San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman will enter free agency for the first time in his career.

After San Francisco selected him with the 17th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Armstead turned in a career-best season in 2019 totaling ten sacks, and two more in the postseason. 

Armstead recently spoke with ESPN's Nick Wagoner about how he sees his future in the Bay Area.

The franchise tag would allow Armstead to stay with the Niners but it'd cost a lot for San Francisco who would have to pay at least the average of the ten-highest paid defensive lineman in the NFL. That could prove to be difficult given the Niners will have limited cap space and would most likely want to re-sign wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and safety Jimmie Ward. 

Armstead is all smiles talking about Buckner's big touchdown

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USATI

Armstead is all smiles talking about Buckner's big touchdown

The Seattle Seahawks pulled off the big victory on Monday, handing the San Francisco 49ers their first loss on the season in a 27-24 overtime thriller. Despite the loss, a couple of former Oregon Ducks on the 49ers side of the field were making players. DeForest Buckner scooped up a Seahawk fumble in the second half and ran it all the way back for a touchdown. His big played brought the 49ers within one score and allowed the team to tie it late. Unfortunately for Buckner, his team lost. However, his teammate and former Oregon Duck Arik Armstead was all smiles talking about the play postgame. 

Armstead called Buckner's scoop and score, "one of the dopest things I've seen a long time."

Take a listen in the video below from our friends over at NBC Sports Bay Area and as always, Go Ducks. 

Pro Ducks: How did they do in NFL Week 6?

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USATI

Pro Ducks: How did they do in NFL Week 6?

Another NFL Sunday is in the books and with it, another chance for the former Oregon Ducks in the NFL to take center stage.

Here is how our Pro Ducks did:

Royce Freeman, Broncos: 

Royce Freeman had another solid outing to help the Broncos pick up their second win of the season, as he continues to be a two-headed monster in the Denver backfield with Phillip Lindsay. Freeman rushed the ball 11 times for 34 yards and caught five passes for 42 yards. 

Pharaoh Brown/Terrance Mitchell, Cleveland Browns:

The Browns may have lost to the Seahawks, but Terrance Mitchell did everything he could to make things come out the other way. Mitchell had six tackles, five solo. On the other side of the ball, tight end Pharaoh Brown was targeted just once, but hauled it in for a nine-yard gain.

Kenjon Barner, Atlanta Falcons:

Barner continues to be one of the more reliable returners in the NFL. He hasn't been used much on offense this season but on special teams, he's at home. Barner had three punt returns for 17 yards and one kick return for 24 yards. He didn't break one this weekend, but he is always a threat. 

Arik Armstead/DeForest Buckner, San Francisco 49ers:

Armstead and Buckner have been huge for the 49ers. San Francisco has surprised the entire NFL by going 5-0 to start the season, and a big part of that success is thanks to the defense. Armstead and Buckner are the anchors of the d-line, and they showed us why on Sunday. Buckner had four tackles, two solo, and one tackle for loss. While Armstead had six tackles, three solo, a half-sack, and one giant fumble recovery. 

De'Anthony Thomas, Kansas City Chiefs:

The Chiefs were upset by the Texans Sunday, and Thomas never really got it going. He had just one rush for four yards and was targeted in the passing game once but didn't register a catch. However, he did contribute three kick returns for 64 yards

Troy Hill, LA Rams:

The Rams fell victim to the undefeated 49ers, but Hill still had a solid game on defense. He had five tackles, four solo, and one pass deflection. 

Kiko Alonso, New Orleans Saints:

No one gave the Saints a chance after Drew Brees went down with an injury earlier this year. But in the four weeks since all they have done is go 4-0. In that time span, the defense has allowed an average of 16.75 points per game. On Sunday, the defense held Jacksonville to just six points, while Kiko Alonso had three tackles, two solo. 

Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans:

Mariota had a rough afternoon Sunday going 7 of 18 passing for 63 yards, and two interceptions. He was also sacked three times. He watched much of the game from the sideline after he was pulled for backup quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The biggest question for Mariota is whether or not he will be the Titans starting quarterback come next week... 

  


 

San Francisco 49ers' DEs DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead bright spots in disappointing season

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USA Today

San Francisco 49ers' DEs DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead bright spots in disappointing season

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The San Francisco 49ers' disappointing season, upended by the knee injury to budding star quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, certainly has revealed areas of need that must be addressed in order for this team to ever contend in the NFC West division. 

Defensive end is not on that list because of the presence of two former Oregon Ducks. The previous regime in charge before John Lynch became the franchise's general manager in 2017 drafted well in that area when it selected Arik Armstead with the 17th-overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and followed up the next year by taking DeForest Buckner with the seventh pick of the first round. 

Their careers have contrasted since they helped lead the Ducks to the national championship game during the 2014 season. Buckner has blossomed quicker in the NFL while Armstead, held back by injuries, is just now starting to realize his potential. 

During their growth as professional players and transitioning from college kids to professional adults, they have always been able to lean on each other. Both arrived at Oregon in 2012 and since have not been teammates only once, in 2015. Their hope now is that they can continue to grow together and help lead the 49ers (4-10) back to respectability and achieve similar success to what they accomplished at Oregon where together they experienced only five losses in three seasons. 

“We’ve been playing together for seven years," Armstead said. "It’s been great. It’s a unique situation to be playing with somebody for so long and kind of grow together and always be there through the ups and downs. It’s been a pretty cool experience.”

--- Buckner emerges 

The 49ers' locker room at Levi's Stadium following Sunday's 26-23 overtime win over Seattle - just two weeks after losing 43-16 at CenturyLink Field - didn't feel like that of a losing team. In part, that was because everyone in that locker room knew how much that win meant to former Seahawks' superstar cornerback Richard Sherman. Also, the win snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Seahawks dating back to 2013. 

“We took it personally," Buckner said. "They flat-out embarrassed us two weeks ago."

Buckner, from Hawaii, had 11 tackles and two sacks in the game to reach 11 sacks for the season. Armstead, from Sacramento, Calif., added five tackles. He has three sacks on the year. For sure, Buckner is putting up the sexier numbers and was rewarded by being named as a Pro Bowl alternate. But Armstead's contributions can't be discounted. He is a strong run stuffer opposite Buckner and according to San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan is starting to emerge as a pass rusher. 

"He does have that type of ability, so I think that's what people hope for," Shanahan told reporters last week. "But, that's not just something that you do. That takes a while, and it takes guys some time playing in this league, playing different positions, to really find their groove. I do see that chance for Arik."

First, Armstead must continue to remain healthy. He has been hindered by injuries off and on since landing at Oregon. After appearing in all 16 games as a rookie, Armstead missed eight his second year and 10 last season. This year has had played in all 14 games. 

"I don't want to jinx myself," Armstead said. "We have two more games. I'm just blessed to be healthy out there."

--- Adjusting to change

Last season San Francisco switched from the 3-4 defense, which the franchise ran when it selected Buckner and Armstead, to the 4-3 defense when Shanahan took over and hired defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. The change didn't impact Armstead and Buckner much given that each is well equipped to play either defense given their considerable athleticism especially given their size.

Both are the prototypical, large, two-gap, 3-4 defensive ends at 6-7, 300 pounds for Buckner and 6-7, 292 for Armstead. However, each is more athletic than your average man of that size. While most 4-3 defensive ends are smaller, it cannot be forgotten that hall of famer Reggie White racked up 198 sacks at 6-5, 291 and Carolina's Julius Peppers will likely make the hall of fame with 158 career sacks at 6-7, 295. Comparing Buckner and Armstead to the likes of the late White and Peppers is, of course, premature. However, both Buckner and Armstead certainly fit into the same breed of defensive end. Large. Strong. Athletic. 

Buckner has certainly shown flashes of being a potential future All-Pro with 20 sacks in three seasons thanks to 11 this year. 

“Getting to double digits, I knew I was capable of it and to see my hard work get paid off, it’s definitely gratifying," he said. "I knew I could do it and I worked my tail off in the offseason to get there."

Saleh said Buckner last year had many pressures and QB knockdowns that could have been sacks with fine-tuning of his technique when disengaging from blockers and closing on quarterbacks. 

"We talked about him needing to find that extra half of step," Saleh told reporters this week. "He's really taken it to heart and he's found that step."

Sometimes, Saleh said, it takes a while for young defensive linemen to find their way. Armstead is no different. 

"Arik is probably having his best year," Saleh said. "It just takes time."

--- Remaining 49ers

The 49ers picked up the fifth-year option on Armstead's rookie contract and Shanahan said they hope to resign him long-term. That's also the plan with Buckner. Armstead said he certainly wants to remain with the 49ers. 

"I love it here," he said. "I've been here my whole career. They drafted me and gave me an opportunity. I want to be here and help win games."

Armstead entered the NFL at age 21 and said he has grown a lot in four years. 

"Most, probably as a person," he said. "I'm 25. Getting kind of old. But maturing as a person. I'm out on my own now. I'm a professional. I've had a good experience."

Armstead has been very active doing charity work in his hometown of Sacramento, which he said is very important to him. 

"I feel like I've been blessed in my life with so many things and it's my responsibility to give back in any way that I came," he said. "A lot of my efforts are directed to people in Sacramento where I'm from and trying to impact my city in a positive way."

The Oregon duo of Buckner and Armstead is respected by teammates. Defensive tackle D.J. Jones said the two are often inseparable.

"You see one you see the other," he said. "They are the twin towers." 

Jones said teammates don't give the former Ducks too much grief for being bosom Ducks. 

"Both are phenomenal people off the field," Jones said. "On the field, they are just the same. I've learned so much from them."

Their NFL careers are in full swing and their futures appear to be strong. How long they remain teammates will be played out on the business end of the NFL pool. One thing for sure is that both have benefited from entering this world together as former Ducks tied at the hip and supporting each other. 

“It’s encouragement and helping each other," Armstead said. "Teaching each other things we’ve learned and passing it along. Having good communication out there from playing together so long. Definitely encouraging each other is the main thing.”