On Thursday, the San Francisco 49ers signed four free agents to the roster, welcoming in defensive lineman Javon Hargrave, quarterback Sam Darnold, defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell and cornerback Isaiah Oliver.
These four players are the first round of additions during this first week of NFL free agency. Hargrave, Darnold, Ferrell and Oliver were greeted by 49ers CEO Jed York, general manager John Lynch, head coach Kyle Shanahan and several teammates on their first visit to Levi's® Stadium. The welcome was followed by a tour of the facilities and their first press conference with 49ers media.
Here's what the four players had to say in their introductory press conference:
Hargrave on his decision to join the 49ers:
"They've been in a lot of big games. For me, I just love playing on primetime games or big games. It's just a great feeling when you're in the NFL to be able to play in some of the big moments. When you're going into free agency and you've got a great team that wants you, I feel like it's not really a hard decision to make."
Hargrave on the transition from the Philadelphia Eagles defensive front to the 49ers defensive line:
"I was fortunate enough to play with a bunch of dogs and seeing the 49ers last year when we played in the NFC Championship Game, we saw how many dogs they had over there. It really was shocking to me that they called me and asked me to come over here because a team like that doesn't really pay somebody like me to come over here. I was just happy to be a part of all these dogs over here because they've got a lot of talent too."
Hargrave on his excitement to play alongside AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa:
"I met him today. He's the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year, so it frees everybody else up and it will free me up a lot. I'm ready to be around the guys and learn how they play the game and try to pick their brains a little bit. That can help me be a better player too."
Hargrave on his speed and quickness:
"I was the man in basketball. That was my first love, and I also played running back in my younger ages. I always was trying to race all the small kids and most of the time I could beat them. So, I think I just always felt like I was one of the small guys when I was out on the field. I have been blessed too, just to be able to do what I do."
Darnold on the free agency frenzy and choosing the 49ers:
"As you guys can probably imagine Monday is pretty crazy, especially as a free agent the first time around. I had great people in my corner to be able to narrow the scope a little bit in terms of what I was looking for. I think at the end of the day, it was a fairly easy decision for me to be able to come here and be able to go to work. That's what I'm most excited for is to be able to work with Kyle, Brian Griese and all the coaches on this staff and again, all the players, the great personnel that is around this locker room. From top to bottom, just excited to get started in this organization and get to work."
"I'm very familiar with their games. I feel like all three of us are pretty similar. We have the ability to get out and make plays when we need to and we can also throw from pocket. I see a lot of similarities in all three of our games and I'm just excited to work with them and meet them as soon as possible."
Darnold on his relationship with running back Christian McCaffrey:
"Christian is a great dude. We became good friends in Carolina, and, obviously, created a really good bond with Coach Wilks as throughout the last half of the season. I'm excited to be able to work with Christian again and obviously with Coach Wilks. I don't know if I can say 'I'm excited' enough during this press conference, but yeah, I'm excited to get to work."
Darnold on making an impact with San Francisco:
"I think for me, it's really coming in here and doing everything that I can to understand the offense. I know I have my work cut out for me when it comes to that. That's just my focus right now, doing whatever I can to help this team win games. When it comes time to do that, whether that's me being the backup or starting, that's my mindset."
Ferrell on his decision to play with San Francisco:
"This is my first time going through free agency...I really just fell in love with the way they play defense here and (49ers defensive line) coach Kris Kocurek is obviously a staple in that."
Ferrell on his familiarity with current and former 49ers players:
"I have a lot of good friends around the league. I tell people this all the time: the NFL, it's not a family, it's a brotherhood. Guys like Arden (Key), Arik Armstead, Javon Kinlaw, Nick Bosa, we've all trained together and been in the same vicinity around each other. Whether I played against Javon in college or I've trained with Nick, Arik, Arden, Solomon Thomas and Maurice Hurst. I just have a good base of players around, especially ones that have been here. They gave me really good feedback and kind of solidified things and any questions that I may have gotten in the process. I definitely look at those guys' history and I've seen where it projects."
Ferrell on what he's looking forward to in his move back to the Bay Area:
"The last time I was in The Bay and playing football, they were playing an MC Hammer and NWA in the stadium. Now I'll get to hear some E-40 thumping off in the back so I'm excited. I can't wait. It's going to be fun."
Ferrell on how he fits in with the team:
"I feel like my skill set, specifically, just fits with the identity and the culture of this team. I've always enjoyed the responsibility that the front four has."
Oliver on how his strengths fit with the 49ers:
"The 49ers have been one of the best defenses in the NFL for quite some time now. Being able to watch that and study from afar, I understand the scheme in that way. I feel like my strengths are really being able to get around the ball, be a strong tackler and be able to make plays on the ball. That's something that I've excelled at over the past couple years and I'm still getting better in that way. So, that's what I'm looking forward to help bring to the team."
Oliver on playing on a defense with a strong defensive line:
"I'm definitely excited. That's something that the 49ers are very known for around the NFL. They've been really good at it for the last few years, that's definitely intriguing to me. I feel like in any defensive position, especially in the back seven, you really want a strong defensive line. That's exciting because the quarterback has to get the ball out quicker and it makes it harder for them. So yeah, I'm definitely excited to work with those guys."
Oliver on playing in the slot:
"I definitely felt much more comfortable in there. I felt like I was able to play to my strengths a little more, just being around the ball, being in the run fit and things like that. I felt real comfortable doing it and I liked doing it a lot. I felt like it was a lot more fun, so that's something that I've definitely grown towards."
Oliver on how he's hoping to contribute to the team:
"I'm here just to be versatile and help in any way I can. I think we've got to take the time to see where I fit in and what that looks like going forward through OTAs, training camp and stuff like that. But, my goal is really just coming in to help the team in any way."
Go behind the scenes as San Francisco's newest players signed their contracts, met with the media and toured the team facility.