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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ free-agency pursuit surprised Javon Hargrave

Mar 16, 2023 at 3:22 PM--

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Javon Hargrave was nervous heading into free agency. He knew he would get paid but was concerned that he might have to sacrifice success in the process. The defensive tackle had just been to a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles. Often, the teams with the most money to spend are the ones that are rebuilding.

Things appear to have worked out beautifully for Hargrave.

"Sometimes when you're trying to go get the money, you have to go to a team that's in a rebuild mode," Hargrave said. "But if you've got a chance to go to a team that was just in the NFC Championship, that's kind of an easy choice for me. So I was real happy about it.

"It really made me happy because I was real nervous about free agency, on where I was going to have to go. But I feel like this was the perfect situation for me."

Hargrave added, "They had a lot of talent. And coming out and wanting to be paid, you just don't see a lot of winning teams like this organization come after [someone like] me like that."

Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, and the other 49ers defensive linemen were among the first to welcome him to the team and offer congratulations after hearing about the signing. On Monday, Hargrave was trying to get his mind off the situation and the unknowns that lie ahead. He followed his typical routine, working out as a distraction.

"But when I got that phone call from the 49ers, and just hearing them talk about how much they wanted me, it really was a quick decision," Hargrave shared.

Hargrave is moving from one impressive defensive line to another and is excited to play alongside players like Bosa.

"The defensive player of the year, it frees up everybody else, and it will free me up a lot," Hargrave said. "[I'm] ready to be around the guys and just learn how they play the game and just try to pick their brains a little bit. That can help me be a better player, too."

Hargrave has been impressed by the 49ers' success in recent years and wanted to be a part of it.

"They've been in a lot of big games," Hargrave said. "For me, I just love playing in primetime games or big games. It's just a great feeling when being in the NFL to be able to play in some of them big moments. When going into free agency, and you've got a great team that wants you, I feel like it's not really a hard decision to make because that's all you like in football, is winning and getting paid.

"... Leaving Philly, I was fortunate enough to play with a bunch of dogs. And just seeing the 49ers last year when we played them in a championship game, we saw how many dogs they had over there. So it really was shocking to me that they called me and asked me to come over here because a team like that doesn't really pay somebody like me to come over here.

"So I was just happy to be a part of all these dogs over here. They got a lot of talent, too, and it's just an easier transition."

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