Get ready to hate the 49ers’ defense again in 2023

Get ready to hate the 49ers' defense again in 2023

The image choices for this story were pretty much just a collection of photos of Javon Hargrave laying on top of all your favorite quarterbacks. Except for this one.
Image: Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers hit the jackpot, reportedly agreeing on a deal with Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, this deal is worth $84 million over four years. That’s a nice pay increase for the Pro Bowler while the rich get richer in San Francisco.

Hargrave was a huge piece to the Eagles’ Super Bowl puzzle last season, recording 11 sacks (tied for second on the team), 10 tackles for loss, and 60 total tackles. He was selected to his first Pro Bowl in 2021 with 7.5 sacks. With Hargrave helping to anchor the middle, Philly had one of the best defenses in the league.

How will Hargrave impact the 49ers’ defense?

Now Hargrave goes from one of the best to the best defense in many major statistical categories last year for the Niners. It’s funny how the former third-round pick has elected to join the team his Eagles beat in the NFC title game a couple of months ago. Had the 49ers not had so many issues at the quarterback position, that game may have played out much differently.

San Francisco and Philadelphia ranked No. 1 & 2 in the NFL in total yards allowed last year. The Niners finished the year ranked first in points allowed at just over 16 per game. Philly was eighth in this category. SF went on a hellacious run over the second half of the season, winning 10 in a row to end the ‘22 campaign. Including the postseason, the 49ers reeled off 12 straight victories before falling to the Eagles in Philly for the NFC championship.

Acquiring Mr. Hargrave is like a cherry on top of your ice cream sundae. You might have been fine without the cherry, but you’re happy to have it once it’s there. San Francisco’s defense was great last year, and now they should be even better. And now that the Jimmy Garoppolo saga is over, with him reportedly signing to the Las Vegas Raiders, the team can finally move on, offensively. There could be a legit QB battle in 49ers training camp between Brock Purdy and Trey Lance, with both returning from injury. Plus, the offense is losing tackle Mike McGlinchey to Denver, but they’ll surely find an adequate replacement.

Defensively, the Niners look like they’ll be ranked toward the top of the league and likely will be one of the best once again. Even in losing DeMeco Ryans to a head coaching position in Houston and bringing Steve Wilkes on to replace him was a sneaky good move. Wilkes proved in Carolina that he deserved another shot as head coach, but that didn’t happen. He’ll slide into the DC role in SF, and they shouldn’t miss a beat. San Francisco is set up and ready to win now, especially on defense. If they can keep one QB on the field, there isn’t any reason why they can’t represent the NFC in Super Bowl LVIII.

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.