Defensive back Jimmie Ward has signed a contract with the Houston Texans, marking the end of his tenure with the San Francisco 49ers. This move will be a change of pace for Ward, who has spent the entirety of his career thus far with the 49ers.
Getting to Know Jimmie Ward
Jimmie Ward is a seasoned defensive back with a lot of experience under his belt. He had a strong outing in 2022, in which he was in on 50 tackles (38 solo) and pulled in a career-high three interceptions – especially notable since he missed five games. He also had five passes defended and one forced fumble. These numbers are indicative of his growing skill as a ball-hawk.
Ward played college football with Northern Illinois from 2010 to 2013. It was during this time that he established himself as a top athlete, going First-Team All-MAC in both 2012 and 2013 and was Third-Team All-American in 2013.
Ward’s Career with the 49ers
In 2014, Ward joined the 49ers, having been drafted with the 30th overall pick. He had a quiet rookie season, which was hampered in part by injury; he missed half the season. In 2015, however, he began getting more time on the field and pulled in his first career interception, which he also returned for a touchdown. In 2016, he had one of the better seasons of his career, pulling in another interception and having 12 passes defended, the latter of which is still a career-high.
Unfortunately, 2017 and 2018 proved to be injury-plagued years for Ward, and he only played 16 games over the two seasons combined. It wasn’t until 2019 that he started staying healthy. Though he remained a starter, he did not pull in an interception for four years starting in 2017. He did play in the 49ers Super Bowl loss in the 2019 season and had a team-high 11 tackles.
In 2021, Ward had a strong season, statistically speaking, as he had two interceptions and a career-high 77 tackles. He also had the second pick-six of his career and blocked a field goal in the playoffs. All in all, thus far in his career, Ward has a total of 451 tackles (341 solo), seven interceptions, five forced fumbles, and two recoveries.
Ward’s Future with the Texans
Ward’s move to the Texans will give new coach DeMeco Ryans a familiar face and leader in his defensive backfield. With his experience and growing skillset, Ward is likely to prove an asset to the Texas defense.
Moreover, Ward’s proven resilience in overcoming past injuries bodes well for his future success with the Texans. Ward may already be a seasoned veteran, but he has ample opportunities to improve his technique and expand his skillset further.
Overall, Jimmie Ward’s contract with the Houston Texans may be the fresh start that he needs to continue his upward trajectory in the NFL.