Fans, analysts and members of the Philadelphia Eagles already know how impactful Javon Hargrave really was for the NFC champs. All-Pro center Jason Kelce is among the latter representatives who understand the significance of losing “Gravedigger” to the San Francisco 49ers.
But few know how the process really went between Hargrave, the Eagles and the 49ers…except for Darius Slay.
The Pro Bowl cornerback sounded off on the signing on his “Big Play Slay” podcast via The Volume released on Saturday, April 1. Turns out per Slay, there’s was a debate on Hargrave’s end.
“He was debating on us and San Fran,” Slay explained. “San Fran put the more money into him, so he going over there with a great defense as well. So he leaves one great defense to go to another great defense, well coached. They got a defensive player of the year [Nick Bosa] he playing with over there.”
Slay included how with the offseason changes, it brings with it guys he’ll miss being on the field with. But adds that Hargrave got what he deserved.
“I got some guys I’m gonna be missing out there on the field,” Slay said. “Hargrave, well-deserved contract.”
Slay Includes How He’ll React When he Sees Hargrave on the Opposite Sideline
Before diving into how he will now feel seeing his former defensive lineman mate on the opposite side, Slay let it be known Hargrave should’ve gotten more accolades for his 2022 work.
“Pro Bowl player, should have been Pro Bowl and All-Pro this year,” Slay bluntly said. “I don’t know what happened. I don’t know what’s going on. That’s just wild to me. I think he had 11 maybe 12 sacks and you know, was going crazy and unstoppable.”
Hargrave, though, is heading to a team that has developed some envy for the Eagles following the NFC title game. Slay is aware of where Hargrave is heading, but sent this message to Eagle fans about how he’s going to handle seeing Hargrave in a new uniform.
“Eagles fans, I know he is with San Fran, I know they beefing with us now, but that’s gonna always be my dog,” Slay said. “He will be my dog all the way up to that game we play them.”
Then came his early prediction of what happens after their three hours on the field ends.
“After the three hours are in and the game goes zero-zero, I’m dapping up my dog congratulating him with ‘good game’ with whoever the game goes to…you know we plan on whooping them,” Slay said. “But you know, however that goes, that’s always my dude man.”
49ers Owner Explains Hargrave Approach
The 49ers haven’t always been known to be big money spenders. Although, in last year’s free agency period they dropped more than $40 million to add Charvarius Ward to bolster the cornerback room.
Now, Hargrave got added to the list of major money contracts the 49ers signed. Owner Jed York acknowledged to Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports Bay Area at the NFL Owner’s Meeting in Arizona that it’s not always the nature of the 49ers to spend, which he pointed out goes back to the days of Mike Nolan. However, a player of Hargrave’s caliber can convince them otherwise.
“We are never going to be a huge spender, but I think when we do spend, we have to make sure it’s deliberate,” York told Chan on Friday, March 31. “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.”
He added: “We’ve never been a huge spend-in-free-agency club. 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.”