5 contracts holding the 49ers back right now

The 49ers' top contracts aren't all bad deals, per se. But they're certainly limiting what John Lynch will be able to do this offseason.

San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams (L) and wide receiver Deebo Samuel (R)
San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams (L) and wide receiver Deebo Samuel (R) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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No. 3: Defensive tackle Arik Armstead

2024 salary cap hit: $28,353,236

Make no mistake, defensive tackle Arik Armstead is one of the most valuable members of the 49ers defense. While he might not always tally up eye-popping numbers on the stat sheet, Armstead's presence on the Niners' defensive line is vital.

When he wasn't there for a good portion of the 2023 season, San Francisco's defense struggled, especially against the run.

Set to make more than $28 million in 2024, Armstead's lingering foot and knee injuries need to be highlighted. He missed half of his 2022 campaign with foot issues, and further injuries caused him to miss five more regular-season games in 2023, too.

For a player poised to earn nearly $30 million, that's problematic.

2024 is the last year of Armstead's current contract, and one can hope he winds up returning fully healthy.

Yet this pending 2025 free agency might force the 49ers to get both younger and cheaper.