Former 49ers GM grabs Arik Armstead after being released by San Francisco

Remember Trent Baalke?

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead (91)
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead (91) / Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
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Recently released Arik Armstead didn't stay a free agent for long after the 49ers let him go, and he's joining a familiar face out in Florida.

The San Francisco 49ers made an awfully tough decision on the eve of free agency 2024.

Pressed up against the salary cap, and with plenty of star players commanding top dollar, they approached veteran defensive tackle and team captain Arik Armstead about taking a pay cut.

Understandably, he refused. And the Niners ultimately elected to release Armstead with a post-June 1 designation to free up cap space that'll now be used to address other pressing areas of need.

No longer the longest-tenured player on San Francisco's roster, Armstead was free to sign with another team once the release was made official at the start of the league new year on March 14.

Turns out, he didn't have to wait long to find a new employer.

Arik Armstead signs with Jaguars, joins former 49ers general manager Trent Baalke

On Thursday, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the Jacksonville Jaguars were poised to ink the first-round pick from the 2015 NFL Draft out of Oregon.

According to Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report, it's a three-year deal worth up to $51 million.

The general manager in Jacksonville? None other than former Niners GM Trent Baalke, who was dismissed from his duties after a disastrous final two years with the franchise in 2015 and 2016.

Armstead was the final Baalke-era pick San Francisco had on its roster.

Baalke's legacy with the 49ers is a controversial one, indeed. But it also opened the door for the Niners to hire head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch in 2017, and that duo's success needs little introduction.

Meanwhile, Armstead will look to help Baalke resurrect what has been a downtrodden Jags franchise over the years.

One can only hope, at least for Armstead's sake, that he finds the same sort of success out in Florida that he enjoyed in the Bay Area.

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