49ers’ best, worst and most provocative moves in NFL free agency

Javon Hargrave #97 of the Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Javon Hargrave #97 of the Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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The 49ers lost more starters than they gained in NFL free agency, but they did make some notable pickups. Let’s evaluate the biggest moves.

For the most part, the San Francisco 49ers are likely done with any splash moves in NFL free agency.

But, wow, the opening wave of free agency sure was impactful for general manager John Lynch and Co.

Not just because of which free agents the Niners onboarded, per se. Beyond that, San Francisco also watched a significant chunk of its starters depart to other teams, too, including safety Jimmie Ward, right tackle Mike McGlinchey and cornerback Emmanuel Moseley.

There’s one quarterback who left the red and gold for the silver and black, too.

NFL free agency will continue rolling on, but with the first wave now in the books, let’s look at the 49ers’ best free-agent move, the worst one and the one that has us the most intrigued.

Best NFL free agency move from 49ers: Signing Javon Hargrave

It was tempting to list the Niners letting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo walk in free agency where he subsequently joined Vegas, as San Francisco finally needed to close that door.

But Garoppolo wasn’t going to be a vital part of the 49ers beyond 2022, at least not with fellow quarterbacks Trey Lance and Brock Purdy vying for the QB1 role.

Alas, the Niners’ best free-agent move was also their biggest signing: adding former Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, whose interior pass-rushing prowess netted 11 sacks a year ago.

Behind All-Pro EDGE Nick Bosa, no other San Francisco defender had more than five.

San Francisco got back to its roots with another attempt at reinforcing the defensive line, and Hargrave definitely makes that the strength once more with names like Bosa and Arik Armstead also in tow.