The San Francisco 49ers made a big addition to their stellar defense, agreeing to a four-year, $84 million contract with star defensive tackle Javon Hargrave.
A person familiar with the deal said the sides reached agreement on Monday on the first day teams were allowed to negotiate with free agents from other teams. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract can’t be finalized until the start of the league year on Wednesday.
The deal with Hargrave included $40 million in guarantees and gives the Niners a top interior pass rusher to team with AP Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa on the edge.
The Niners also filled another hole quickly, agreeing on a one-year deal with former first-round quarterback Sam Darnold, according to another person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hadn’t been finalized.
The addition of Darnold gives San Francisco depth with Trey Lance working his way back from a broken ankle and Brock Purdy sidelined until at least August as he recovers from elbow surgery.
Darnold, the third pick in the 2018 draft by the Jets, has been a disappointment his first five seasons with New York and Carolina but now has a chance to revive his career in a QB friendly system under coach Kyle Shanahan.
The 30-year-old Hargrave is coming off his most productive season in seven years as a pro with a career-high 11 sacks that helped Philadelphia beat San Francisco in the NFC title game and reach the Super Bowl.
Hargrave ranked fourth among all interior pass rushers with 57 quarterback pressures last season, according to Pro Football Focus, and provides a big upgrade on one of the few weak spots on San Francisco’s defense that was ranked first in the NFL.
Arik Armstead led the Niners interior rushers with 20 pressures last regular season but had no sacks in nine games.
The 49ers had been hoping for 2020 first-round pick Javon Kinlaw to anchor their interior after trading away star DeForest Buckner following the 2019 season.
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But Kinlaw has been slowed by knee injuries that have limited him to 24 games in three seasons and has been ineffective when he played. Kinlaw has 1 1/2 career sacks and was repeatedly pushed around by the Eagles line in the NFC title game loss.
Hargrave has been far more effective over his career since being drafted in the third round by Pittsburgh in 2016. He had 14 1/2 sacks in four seasons with the Steelers and stepped up his game after signing as a free agent with Philadelphia in 2020.
Hargarve has 11 pressures and 18 1/2 sacks the past two regular seasons for the Eagles.
The Niners also kept one of their own defensive lineman, agreeing to a one-year deal with Kevin Givens, who was eligible to be a restricted free agent.
Givens originally signed with the Niners as an undrafted free agent in 2019. He played 40 games with 12 starts with San Francisco, recording 57 tackles and three sacks. He had 20 tackles and two sacks in 13 games last season.