San Francisco 49ers 2023 NFL free-agent signings – San Francisco 49ers Weblog

Nick WagonerESPN Author1:49 p.m. ET5 minutes read

DT Javon Hargrave signs four-year deal with the 49ers

Adam Schefter reports that former Eagles DT Javon Hargrave has signed a four-year, $84 million deal with the 49ers.

The free NFL agency is rolling, and we’re tracking every major signing, trade, and release of the 2023 offseason with analysis from our NFL Nation reporters and grades from our experts. The new league year begins March 15 at 4:00 p.m. ET, which means free agents can officially sign after that. The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft begins April 27 on ESPN.

The 49ers are stepping into freehand to take the next step after failing in the NFC Championship Game for the past two seasons. To do that, they’ll likely have to figure out how to replace outstanding free agents like right tackle Mike McGlinchey and linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, among others, while putting money aside to sign Nick Bosa, the reigning NFL defensive end Player of the Year — too a lucrative, long-term extension. The Niners also have to keep an eye out for a possible quarterback as Jimmy Garoppolo departs while holdups Brock Purdy and Trey Lance recover from serious injuries.

Here’s a breakdown of all the 2023 NFL free agents signed by the San Francisco 49ers and how each impacts the upcoming season:

Javon Hargrave signed a four-year contract with the 49ers averaging $21 million a year after registering a career-high 11 sacks last season. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Hargrave, the No. 2 free agent on ESPN’s Top 100, has agreed to a four-year, $84 million deal that guarantees $40 million upon signing with the 49ers, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

What it means: Ever since coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch arrived in 2017, the Niners have made the defensive line their number one priority. This group did not live up to the standard in 2022, especially in the interior. So it’s no surprise that the Niners were chasing the best defensive tackle on the market at Hargrave. Landing Hargrave allows the Niners to pair him with Bosa and lineman Arik Armstead. There is still work to be done in the secondary school, but the San Francisco defense was No. 1 in the league last year and has a chance to be even better in 2023 with Hargrave on board. It’s an added bonus that Hargrave’s departure weakens the Eagles, a team the Niners believe will be in contention for the NFC crown for the next few seasons.

What’s the risk: With a reported $21 million per season with $40 million guaranteed, it’s a significant investment in a player who is 30 years old. But Hargrave has proven very durable in his career, missing just three games in his seven seasons. Hargrave is coming off the best season of his career with 11 sacks so it’s fair to ask if he can repeat that, but playing with Bosa should help him continue playing close to that level. The greatest risk may lie in the opportunity cost of taking this step. The Niners don’t have many resources to add to other places that need help and may have to make some sacrifices to make everything work.

Tashaun Gipson Sr. returns to the 49ers on a one-year deal after giving them a big safety boost in 2022 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Gipson agreed to a one-year contract worth up to $2.9 million on Sunday, a source told ESPN, confirming multiple reports.

What it means: Gipson was one of last season’s better under-the-radar signings for the Niners, signing in late August and quickly becoming a full-time starter in place of an injured Jimmie Ward. He played well enough (his five interceptions was the second most in the NFL) that he kept the job even after Ward returned and the Niners wanted to bring him back. With the return of Gipson, the Niners are presumably set with their two starting safeties (along with Talanoa Hufanga) and can redirect their key resources elsewhere, namely on offense and defense.

What’s the risk: There’s not much of a risk here, as Gipson’s deal is only for one year and is valued at up to $2.9 million. But Gipson is 32 and there were doubts if he wanted to continue playing after the 2022 season. He did and the Niners wanted him back, but he’s still closer to the end of his career than when he started. With that in mind, and with Ward and Tarvarius Moore slated to become unrestricted free agents, the Niners need to continue to build their position looking ahead.

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