The 49ers surprised many by signing former Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave to a four-year, $84 million contract. But they’ll spend, selectively, to make the team better.
“We are never going to be a huge spender, but I think when we do spend, we have to make sure it’s deliberate,” CEO Jed York said at the league meetings, via Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports Bay Area. “Making the trade for Christian [McCaffrey] last year, getting Javon and a few others in free agency, this year. . . .
“You want to make sure you’re adding to the club and making sure you’re giving the club a chance to win.”
York explained that the team has been careful about spending big in free agency for years, back to the days when Scot McGloughan was G.M. and Mike Nolan was head coach.
“We’ve never been a huge spend-in-free-agency club,” York said. “That’s not really our belief. But when you’re going to spend in free agency, you better make it count, because you’re going to spend a lot of money.”
York explained that the team “loved” Hargrave when he came out of college, in 2016. He turned 30 in February.
Although the 49ers soon need to give a major contract to defensive end Nick Bosa, the reigning defensive player of the year, it helps to have a trio of quarterbacks who collectively consume a relatively small chunk of cap space. Trey Lance is entering the third year of his rookie deal, Sam Darnold has a one-year, $4.5 million contract, and Brock Purdy is making peanuts as the last player drafted in 2022 — and he’s at least two seasons away from a second contract.
So now is the time to spend elsewhere for the 49ers. And that could mean, for Hargrave, it’s a two-year, $40.75 million deal.