The 49ers certainly made waves on the first day of NFL free agency.
San Francisco reportedly agreed to terms with star defensive tackle Javon Hargrave and quarterback Sam Darnold on free agent deals on Monday, quickly filling two holes with two very different types of contracts.
The 49ers reportedly gave Hargrave a four-year, $1 million contract, while agreeing to a one-year, $0.5 million deal with Darnold.
Here’s how experts rated the 49ers’ moves on Day 1 of free agency.
Seth Walder, ESPN
“The 49ers defensive front is always stacked,” Walder writes. “The Niners splashed a legit star in Hargrave to bolster a passing rush that already includes reigning MVP Nick Bosa and tackle Arik Armstead. Hargrave is the difference maker; his 11 sacks last season were a career high, but he was buoyed up by a strong pass rush success rate of 17% at defensive tackle – third-best in the league – which showed his impact on a game-to-game basis. not unique, as he ranked third in the metric in 2021 and sixth in 2020. The only downside to this deal is his age – he’s 30.”
Tyler Sullivan, CBS Sports
“It didn’t seem possible that San Francisco’s defense would get any scarier, and then they went out and signed arguably the best defensive player in the free agent market in Javon Hargrave,” Sullivan wrote. “The former Eagles defensive tackle cashed in on a four-year, million-dollar deal to join the 49ers and create one of the most feared defensive lines in the league. Hargrave is coming off a 2022 season where he had 11 sacks , 10 tackles for the loss, and 16 hits from the quarterback, all while playing mostly inside.He will now sit alongside Arik Armstead and Javon Kinlaw, while Nick Bosa works on the edge.
James Dator, Mark Schofield, Joseph Acosta, SBNation
“The salary cap is a lie,” write Dator, Schofield and Acosta. “Despite only having 0.8 million effective cap space, the 49ers pulled off a coup by signing one of the best defensive players in free agency. They will settle the money side more late, so it’s not a big deal for them.
“As of 2020, the only defensive tackle with a higher assist rating from Pro Football Focus is Aaron Donald, and now Hargrave is slipping into a defensive line with Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead. It’s a huge move that takes on the best defense of the league in 2021, and make them even better. It’s going to be so much fun to see the devastation this team brings.”
And Pizzuta, sharp analysis of football
“The 49ers don’t need Javon Hargrave, but man, is it fun to put him on a line with Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead,” Pizzuta wrote. “Hargrave was third last season in pass completion rate among defensive tackles. He had the same pressure rate as Chris Jones but had fewer hits and sacks because there were more players who were helping Hargrave on the Philadelphia defensive line.
He will find himself in a similar situation with the 49ers. He will have another top inside player and the reigning Defensive Player of the Year on the edge. This will allow the 49ers to develop that second rusher — defensive line coach Kris Kocurek has been able to get career years off a wide range of players in that position — whether it’s Drake Jackson in his sophomore year or someone new. ‘other.
Gary Davenport, Laundress Report
“The San Francisco 49ers were strangled by the Philadelphia Eagles in last year’s NFC Championship Game,” Davenport wrote. “On Monday, the Niners took a measure of revenge by poaching an important member of Philadelphia’s vaunted defensive line.
Paying that kind of money to a player who is on the wrong side of 30 and never had even eight sacks in a season before last year is a risky proposition. But Hargrave has been excellent for the Eagles in each of the past two seasons. Combining him with superstar Nick Bosa could give San Francisco a tremendous inside-out punch.”
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Gary Davenport, Laundress Report
“Last year, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan turned Brock Purdy from ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ to a legitimate NFL starter under center,” Davenport adds. “Apparently, Sam Darnold is hoping Shanahan can have a similar effect on his faltering career. According to Schefter, Darnold has agreed to join the Niners on a one-year deal.
“Say what you will about Darnold, but he’s started 56 games in his career. As long as the financial commitment is minimal, it’s not a bad Plan C.”
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