Jaguars agree to deal for 49ers DL Arik Armstead, giving defense some needed help

Former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead (91) found a new home in Jacksonville. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)

The Jacksonville Jaguars saw receiver Calvin Ridley slip away to the Tennessee Titans, but they were able to reinvest some of the money they saved.

The Jaguars defense needs some more talent, and they're getting a proven veteran for the middle of their line. Arik Armstead, who was cut by the San Francisco 49ers after refusing a pay cut, signed a deal with the Jaguars. The deal was a big one, with Armstead getting $51 million over three years according to multiple reports including ESPN.

Armstead was a key member of the 49ers' defensive line for many years. The 6-foot-7, 290-pounder spent the last nine seasons with San Francisco. He was the team's first-round pick in 2015. He's a good all-around defender who topped out at 10 sacks in 2019.

The Jaguars blew the AFC South title last season and missed the playoffs, in part because the defense wasn't good enough. They finished 17th in the NFL in points allowed and 22nd in yards allowed. They have added safety Darnell Savage and cornerback Ronald Darby to the defense in free agency, but Armstead is key to the improvement of the defensive front.

Armstead reunites with Jaguars GM Trent Baalke, who was the 49ers' GM when Armstead was drafted. For the Jaguars, they get a respected leader and a big lineman who can help them in the short term.

The 49ers parted ways with Armstead in a somewhat surprising move. It turned out to be the Jaguars' gain.