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Niners to release Arik Armstead after defensive lineman declined pay cut

A longtime 49ers defensive lineman will make a foray into free agency.

Arik Armstead has declined a pay cut and will be released, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday, per a source.

The move means Armstead, a Niner for the last nine years and the No. 17 overall pick in the 2015 draft, will be on the lookout for an NFL home beyond San Francisco for the first time in his career.

A solid contributor for the 49ers' mighty defense despite never making a Pro Bowl, the 30-year-old has 33.5 sacks, 88 QB hits, six passes defensed, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in his career. 

He was consistently clutch in the playoffs, where he added eight sacks, including a takedown of Patrick Mahomes during a losing effort in Super Bowl LVIII. 

Armstead's high-water mark as a pro came in the 2019 season, when he amassed 10 sacks and cashed in the following offseason with a five-year contract.

That deal had one year remaining and was set to count $28.4 million against San Francisco's cap in 2024 while paying Armstead $17.4 million in base salary. 

With the 49ers looking to save money as they continue to try to get over the Super Bowl hump, Armstead was reportedly unwilling to serve as an avenue to do so. 

Now he'll look for a new payday with another suitor.

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