49ers add Javon Hargrave to NFL-best defense on $84m deal

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The San Francisco 49ers have added yet more firepower to the NFL's premier defense by agreeing a deal to sign defensive tackle Javon Hargrave.

According to multiple reports, Hargave has come to terms on a four-year, $84million deal that includes $40m guaranteed at signing.

Hargrave was viewed as the top defender on the market after a stellar season with the Philadelphia Eagles in which he helped them reach Super Bowl LVII.

He finished the regular season with a career-high 11 sacks and, according to Stats Perform data, had a pass rush win rate of 43.79 per cent, well above the league average of 29.16 for interior defensive linemen.

Hargrave's addition fills a need for a San Francisco defense that allowed 300.6 yards per game, the fewest in the NFL.

The 49ers have long since won on defense through their depth on the defensive line.

However, though edge rusher Nick Bosa won Defensive Player of the Year in 2022 for an 18.5-sack season, the middle of the D-line was a patchwork operation for much of the year, with former first-round picks Arik Armstead and Javon Kinlaw both missing time through injury.

Even with both Armstead and Kinlaw available, the interior of the D-line was comfortably second-best in the 49ers' NFC Championship Game defeat to the Eagles, with Philadelphia's offensive line dominating that matchup.

Having lost that contest 31-7 in a game that saw the Niners run out of healthy quarterbacks, San Francisco may now switch focus to the offensive line, having seen starting right tackle Mike McGlinchey depart for the Denver Broncos on a five-year, $87.5m deal.