In the wake of their Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Philadelphia Eagles are losing a lot of their pieces on the defensive side of the ball. The Eagles performed as one of the top defenses in the NFL all year long but were exposed in the postseason finale by Patrick Mahomes and KC. To be fair, most defenses, even the best ones, tend to struggle stopping Mahomes and co.
Nonetheless, after a terrific season together, many Philly defenders are ready for new contracts. And the vast majority are seeking a raise in pay for their stellar play. However, the Eagles don’t grow money on trees and the salary cap isn’t going up enough for the team to afford to pay every player a deserving figure. Some have re-signed in Philadelphia. But others have had to land their next contract elsewhere.
One stud player off the 2022-23 squad who has found a new home is defensive lineman Javon Hargrave. The veteran defensive tackle was drafted by and spent his first four years in Pittsburgh. But they eventually let him walk after his rookie contract. Philly swooped in and picked him up with a three-year, $39 million deal — pretty big money for a DL. Three years later and that contract is up. With Philly needing to save money in order to pay other members of the defensive front, a Hargrave renewal just wasn’t in the cards.
Instead, he signed his third contract on the opposite side of the country in sunny San Francisco. Hargrave just turned 30 years old and has a four-year deal and $40 million guaranteed coming his way, with up to $84 million possible for him to earn over the course of the deal. He’ll be living good as his career winds down.
Hargrave gives interesting take on NFC Championship game
Now that he has a new home, Hargrave is already taking up for the 49ers after they lost to him and his former team in the NFC title. Both Niner quarterbacks suffered injuries during that game. Per Hargrave, the title game would have been far more competitive had those injuries not occurred.
“We kind of knew it was going to be different when all you can do is run the ball, when both quarterbacks go out, and you know exactly what you’re trying to do,” the former Eagle and brand new 49er said. “Of course, it made it a lot easier for us. Trust me, we’ve seen the film on Brock escaping. We knew it was going to be a challenge trying to get to him. So it would have been, definitely, a different game if he had stayed up.”
Alas, he did not and the Eagles rolled as Hargrave got to participate in his first Super Bowl. Perhaps he’ll get a shot to avenge his defeat next season if San Francisco can simply find some healthier quarterback play throughout the season.