Multiple teams pursued Javon Hargrave during free agency, but the 49ers made the decision an easy one for the defensive tackle.
"When I got that phone call from the 49ers and hearing them talk about how much they wanted me, it really was a quick decision,” Hargraves told local Bay Area media on Thursday.
“When you’ve got a great team that wants you, I feel like it’s not really a hard decision to make. That’s all you like in football — winning and getting paid.”
Hargrave already has been part of two successful franchises, spending his first four NFL seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and his last three with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Pro Bowl lineman has played in eight playoff games, four with each of his previous teams.
The 30-year-old believes that trend now will continue with the 49ers.
San Francisco's pursuit, however, came as a surprise to Hargrave, who didn’t have the most confidence in his options heading into free agency.
“I couldn’t believe it myself,” Hargrave said. “I really couldn’t. Sometimes when you’re trying to get the money, you have to go to a team that’s in a rebuild mode. When you have a chance to go to a team that was just in the NFC Championship, that’s kind of an easy choice for me.
“It really made me happy because I was real nervous about free agency on where I was going to have to go, but I feel like this is the perfect situation for me.”
Hargrave is coming off a career-best season where the he recorded 11 sacks and notched 60 tackles — 37 solo and 10 for loss. The defensive tackle also regularly got his hands on opposing quarterbacks, registering 16 hits.
Known for his ability to bull rush offensive lineman, Hargrave is ecstatic to join Arik Armstead and Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa in the trenches. The 6-foot-2, 305-pound defensive tackle knows that Bosa’s presence alone will open up opportunities to get to the passer.
“It was really shocking to me that they called me and asked me to come over here,” Hargrave said. “Because a team like that doesn’t really pay somebody like me to come over. I was just happy to be a part all these dogs over here. They got a lot of talent.”
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Hargrave has kept his eye on the 49ers' defensive front and finds their aggressive, relentless tendencies very attractive. The South Carolina State product believes that will be a key element in getting back to the “big dance" -- something he certainly hopes to help his new team achieve.