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Reaction to the Armstead and Buckner Deals

Day 1 of the legal tampering period was a wild ride for 49ers fans and players alike. As expected, Arik Armstead’s contract was the first domino that needed to fall before the red and gold could begin making any other moves. Armstead was willing to bend quite a bit to help the team stay competitive and took a hometown discount on a back-loaded contract over the next 6 years. Paraag Marathe and John Lynch have bought themselves two more cheap years before the cap hopefully catches up to his contract.

Most tweets from fans were congratulatory and optimistic for his future. Then the other shoe dropped. Vague tweets from a few sources about an unexpected trade involving the 49ers began to surface and I began to rapidly refresh my feed. Several of us were hoping for an OBJ or Diggs announcement. That is not what happened.

DeForest Buckner was headed into his 5th year with San Francisco and had just won the 2019 Bill Walsh award (team MVP as voted on by coaches). Given the cap situation, the writing should have been on the wall that someone from the DL was going to move, but I was as blindsided (or maybe in denial).

There is no realistic way San Francisco would have been able to afford that type of contract especially if they want extensions for Kittle and Warner (they do). Lynch was essentially facing down the choice of Buckner vs. Armstead + more free cap + a draft pick; and he was able to make it work with a team picking in the top 15. I’m glad I’m not the one who has to set emotions aside to try to make the best long-term decision for the team. 

Ultimately, I think the trade was as much as we could have hoped for because of the cap situation. Now the next step is to see if Lynch and Shanahan believe Buckner’s replacement is on the roster, in FA, or in the draft. I’m excited to see what this front office can do with that pick. My prudent side says trade back but, on the other hand, they’re suddenly in the running for one of the stud WR’s in this class.

No, thank YOU, DeFo. You balled out and deserved the payday. I’m sad San Francisco couldn’t give it to you. Was it the right decision? We probably won’t know for a couple years.

UPDATE:

Glad to see Jimmie got a deal as well. He’s coming off his best season yet and is finally showing fans why Shanahan and company have put their faith in the oft-injured safety.

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The 49ers made waves in the first day of legal tampering!

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