With 19 total players set to hit the free agent market for the Philadelphia Eagles, you’d expect to lose a few on the open market. Then there becomes the order in which you believed a certain player should be back over others. And for many, that top player was defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, a key anchor to their defense. He’s now gone.
Hargrave, 30, has agreed to a four-year deal worth $84 million with he 49ers. Including $40M in guaranteed money according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The seven-year veteran had the best season of his career. 11 total sacks while helping to anchor the middle of the defensive line. One of the best fronts in the NFL. Four players registered over 10 sacks on the campaign. Not only will Hargrave be a big loss for the Birds but he now joins the defense that was ranked at the top of the league all season in the 49ers. Making them a much better unit. They’re also the team that Philadelphia knocked out in the NFC Championship game for the right to play in the Super Bowl. Tough blow.
Fellow starter and long-time Eagles DT Fletcher Cox is also a free agent. So are late-season additions Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh. Last year’s first-round pick Jordan Davis will now be looked at as a player to take the next jump with Hargrave moving on. Will he be ready for such an increase in workload after being a sparingly used player? The same can question can be asked for 2021 third-round draft selection Milton Williams.
San Francisco spent a lot of money to acquire Hargrave. One could see why the Eagles didn’t want to spend that high on one player. Even after being so productive in an Eagles uniform. But with as much emphasis on building in the trenches on both sides of the ball, it just seemed like they could be headed in the direction of coming to an agreement. Now, the Birds have to find a way to keep a few of the other players on the defensive side of the ball while looking to add to the depth that made them so much of a problem a season ago.