While there is plenty of time left in the offseason, most of the biggest free-agent moves are already in the books. With the vast majority of top free agents signed, Pro Football Focus handed out grades for each NFC team thus far in free agency. The folks at PFF gave the San Francisco 49ers a B+.
The folks at PFF lauded the Niners for signing interior defensive lineman Javon Hargrave away from the Philadelphia Eagles, adding another elite talent to one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL. “San Francisco now boasts a unit that rivals The Avengers,” they wrote.
Despite adding a player of Hargrave’s caliber, though, the 49ers have still lost a lot of key contributors. PFF included a calculation of each team’s WAR gained through free agency, which summed up the additions and losses in free agency. Per their formula, the Niners have lost 1.624 wins worth of production more than they have acquired, the fourth-worst in the conference (only ahead of the Buccaneers, Eagles, and Rams).
It’s not totally surprising to see the 49ers rank where they do. The Niners have already lost nine players who were starters at various points last season (Mike McGlinchey, Emmanuel Moseley, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jimmie Ward, Samson Ebukam, Charles Omenihu, Azeez Al-Shaair, Dan Brunskill, and Hassan Ridgeway). San Francisco will need to replace that depth through minor free-agent moves and the draft.
Here is PFF’s full writeup on the 49ers' offseason:
Of all the teams we would’ve expected to make the biggest signing of the offseason — along the defensive line of all places — the 49ers would not have appeared near the top of that list.
However, San Francisco now boasts a unit that rivals The Avengers, with Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa still dominant forces when healthy, as well. San Francisco did lose Samsom Ebukam and Charles Omenihu in free agency, so they made sure to not get weaker at a spot that has always been their strength.
Hargrave has earned back-to-back 90.0-plus pass-rush grades and put up the first double-digit sack season of his career in 2022, so it’s not surprising the 30-year-old cashed in at such a high level. With pending extensions for young interior defenders like Quinnen Williams, Jeffery Simmons, Dexter Lawrence and others, this deal will also move down the board of largest contracts at the position in short order.