The San Francisco 49ers were apparently trying to get more production from the Javons on the roster, which prompted them to spend a ton of money in the early stages of NFL free agency.
Javon Kinlaw has officially been put on notice, as Javon Hargrave is coming to town.
Right as the team was watching right tackle Mike McGlinchey sign a huge five-year contract with the Denver Broncos, San Francisco paid out $84 million over four years to Hargrave, who is coming off a season in which he played a pivotal role in the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl run.
In the short term, it is hard to find too many faults in this deal. Hargrave is one of the best defensive tackles in the league at both clogging up running lanes and rushing the passer, and he was paid as such in an interior line market that is starting to explode in recent weeks.
The long-term ramifications, however, are what really makes this deal stand out. With San Francisco unlikely to give two defensive tackles big money anytime soon, the 49ers may have gone after Hargrave as a way to signal to Kinlaw that 2023 will be his last year with a gold helmet on.
49ers: Will Javon Hargrave kick Javon Kinlaw out of San Francisco?
Hargrave’s performance over the last two years has been beyond reproach. Not only has he been an elite run-stuffer for a championship-level team, but the former Steelers draft pick has recorded a ridiculous 18.5 sacks during the past two campaigns.
Kinlaw has had his moments when healthy, but those moments have been few and far between. This is an expensive defense, so adding even more money to that unit for a player that has played 10 games in the last two seasons is not something John Lynch wants to do.
Kilnaw has recorded just 1.5 sacks in his 49ers career, none of which have come in the last two years. While the defense as a whole hasn’t suffered too much amid all of Kinlaw’s injuries, he hasn’t done much to set himself or the team up for success in the future.
While claiming that Hargrave coming to San Francisco spells the end for Kinlaw may be a bit hyperbolic, considering how fresh this cut is, things are certainly not looking up for the player San Francisco once held in such high regard they traded DeForest Buckner to acquire. Kinlaw may be playing elsewhere in 2024 if Hargave balls out.