The San Francisco 49ers have only made one splash in NFL free agency as of writing, getting Javon Hargrave, but it again shows how the team can get stars at a good price.
There are three certainties in life: death, taxes and fans complaining about their team not doing the right thing in the offseason. No matter the decision, no matter the financial circumstances, and no matter whatever situation you can think of, fans will always be unsatisfied with their team.
The San Francisco 49ers are no exception, and fans have seen quite a few players leave for other teams while only a few have been brought in (more on this in a minute).
There have been some players brought back on extensions, but on the whole, there’s been more leaving than coming here.
The one big splash that the Niners have made is bringing in former Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave in a big deal that not only lured a big piece from their NFC Championship opponents but helped shore up San Francisco’s defensive line once again.
The contract looks big, but it’s also extremely team-friendly for the 49ers. The team gets an elite interior pass-rusher for minimal risk, and it’s all down to the wizardry of the Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Paraag Marathe.
Hargrave signed a four-year, $84 million deal with the Niners with $40 million of that guaranteed. Quite a fair deal, considering Hargrave has been one of the premier pass-rushing defensive tackles with 11 sacks for the Eagles last season and 7.5 sacks the year before.
He’s not just a sack specialist, though, with his pressure rate among the very elite for defensive tackles in the past few seasons.
Financially, 49ers still get a steal by signing Javon Hargrave
Where the 49ers really got a steal is in the fine details of the contract. It’s essentially a two-year deal for the aforementioned guaranteed money. The 49ers can then cut Hargrave if he underperforms for an $18,600,000 cap hit as opposed to the second half of the $84 million.
To get such an elite pass-rushing defensive tackle for such relatively low financial risk is a big win. They get to beef up their defensive line and don’t have to worry about the long-term implications as they give themselves an out.
Hargrave, meanwhile, will be incentivized to continue not only for the money but to get back to the Super Bowl that he was just short of winning this season.
This is a super smart deal and something that all 49ers fans can be happy with. It’s proof that we don’t need to panic about the direction of the offseason, the San Francisco front office tends to know what it’s doing.