The 49ers have been forced to reshape their defense, but they’re still looking to hold on to their own where ever possible. That’s what they did with safety Jimmie Ward, who has been re-upped on a new three-year deal worth $28.5MM, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).
Ward, 28, has been set back by injuries throughout his career, but he stayed healthy for the most part and shined in 2019. The veteran tallied a career-best 65 tackles in 13 starts, an indicator that even better things could be on the horizon.
Last year, the Niners kept Ward with a one-year prove-it deal. This time around, he has the security of a multi-year pact that will pay him $9.5MM per annum.
The Northern Illinois product was an integral part of SF’s secondary last year. On the whole, the unit graded out No. 2 in defensive DVOA. He also settled in at the free safety position – before last year, he saw time at multiple spots as coaches tried to figure out the best way to use him.
All along, Ward has said that he wanted to return to the NFC champs.
“This is where I would like to be,” Ward said in February (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area). “I like to continue playing for this great organization.”
Now, he’s under contract with the Niners through the 2022 season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.