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Arik Armstead looking to help the Jaguars get ‘over the hump’ in 2024

After nine seasons with the team that drafted him in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft, Arik Armstead hit free agency for the first time in his career last week when he was released by the San Francisco 49ers.

So what did the 30-year-old defensive lineman with two career Super Bowl appearances hope to find in his hunt for a new team?

“My goal was to find the next stage of my career in some place that I feel comfortable, that valued me as a player as well too, and a place I can take the next step and grow in,” Armstead said Monday. “A place that’s competitive and that I feel I can come in and help get them over the hump.

“The Jags were a good team before me and whenever I enter a situation, not just in football but in life in general when I’m meeting people and when I’m entering situations working with people, I want to make the place better than when I found it. I want to a positive impact in. I think this team was already a phenomenal team and I think I can help get them to the next level.”

Jacksonville finished each of the last two seasons with 9-8 records. That was enough for an AFC South title in the 2022 season, but it left the Jaguars on the outside this January.

The Jaguars hope that their new additions, headlined by the 6’7 defensive lineman, will be enough to turn the team into a legitimate Super Bowl contender. And Armstead is mincing no words: he envisions being on that stage with the Jaguars.

“This team has Super Bowl aspirations and when we get there, I’ve already been through that, and I know what it’s going to look like and what to expect,” Armstead said.

The Jaguars have been to the AFC Championship three times (1996, 1999, 2017) in the franchise’s three-decade history, but have never reached the Super Bowl.

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire