Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

49ers signing Chiefs CB Charvarius Ward to massive 3-year deal

Mar 14, 2022 at 9:00 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers made their first free agency move, agreeing to sign Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward to a three-year deal worth up to $42 million, including $26.7 million guaranteed. ESPN's Adam Schefter was the first to report the news.

That's a potentially massive deal for the soon-to-be-fifth-year player, but as always, we will have to wait to see the contract structure before judging the value.

Most expected San Francisco to be in the market for a veteran cornerback, and Ward was among the top free-agent defensive backs available. He will likely line up opposite Emmanuel Moseley on the outside. The team also has Ambry Thomas, who came on strong at the end of his 2021 rookie campaign.

The Dallas Cowboys signed Ward (6-1, 198) as an undrafted free agent out of Middle Tennessee in 2018. He registered 67 tackles, two tackles for a loss, 10 passes defensed, and two interceptions through 13 game appearances (12 starts) with the Chiefs in 2021, per Pro Football Reference. The cornerback's 71.2 overall Pro Football Focus grade and 69.4 coverage grade from this past season were career-highs. Opposing quarterbacks owned a passer rating of 73.6 when targeting Ward in 2021.

"According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Ward allowed the lowest average separation on targets (2 yards) and second-lowest completion % among DBs (45%), among DBs with min. 50 targets in '21," ESPN's Nick Wagoner tweeted.

Ward, 25, has recorded 222 tackles, a sack, 29 passes defensed, four interceptions, and a forced fumble in 56 game appearances (43 starts) through his four NFL seasons.

While the details of the contract are not yet known, the 49ers will likely need to make salary-cap room for Ward. The team entered the week $9.6 million over the cap limit of $208.2 million and must be at or below that mark by Wednesday at 1 p.m. PT.

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