Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports


49ers Top 20 for ‘20: #10 Jimmie Ward

Gilbert Brink
Mar 3, 2020 at 7:28 AM


Videos are auto-populated by an affiliate. This site has no control over the videos that appear above.
The most important ability is availability. In 2019, for the first time since 2015, free safety Jimmie Ward played 16 games in a season. For much of his career, Ward felt like a man without a country. Constantly being shifted around the secondary nobody knew what Ward was, aside from injury prone.

In 2019 Ward started off the season unavailable. This was a common theme for Ward, who has lovingly gained the nickname Jimmie "Hospital" Ward from a portion of the 49ers fanbase. His absence gave free safety Tarvarius Moore an opportunity to take over as the starter. Nonetheless, 3 games into the season Moore relinquished that job back to Ward after numerous examples of taking poor angles and blowing assignments.

This was a disappointing development. The 49ers had hoped the more athletic Moore would be the future of the position, and now they had to turn back to a man who through 5 seasons only suited up for 51 of a possible 80 games. To the surprise of many, Ward was the perfect fit who took the 49ers defense from competitor to dominant force. Ward's exceptional play in the "eraser" role, stopping big runs from becoming huge runs and putting the clamps on the deep ball, was essential to the 49ers success and their #1 ranked passing defense.

Jimmie Ward is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Ward has been on record stating he would love to return to San Francisco and continue playing next to high school team mate SS Jaquiski Tartt, but also recognizes that the business side of the game may prevent that.

2019 Performance


Ward's impact on the 49ers secondary was apparent to the viewing eye. When examining play through the box score Ward's contributions stood out as well. During the regular season Ward totaled 65 tackles, 0 interceptions, 8 passes defended, 1 sack and 2 tackles for loss. According to Pro Football Focus Ward earned a grade of 84.2, the very best season of his 6-year career. That 84.2 was nearly 10 points higher than the man many 49ers fans coveted in FA in 2019, Earl Thomas III's 74.7.

2020 Cost


Ward is an unrestricted free agent in 2020. The cost of him returning to San Francisco is unknown, but looking around the league at the highest paid safeties can create a hypothetical price tag for Ward. The highest paid safeties in the NFL make around $14 million per year. These are the premier players at the position. Although Ward is very good, he is not considered at that level. This free agent class will have a few safeties teams will be eager to sign, as both Devin McCourty and Anthony Harris will be available, so Ward's value is minimized by the supply and demand factor as well. As a long-term signing the 49ers could be looking at a deal that would reach between $9-11 million per year, as a franchise tag candidate they're looking at a 1-year guarantee of $13-14 million.

Future Outlook


It is difficult to imagine the 49ers defense being as good without Ward as it was with him. These 49ers have Super Bowl problems, not 2-14 problems. Keeping all hands on deck is a beautiful concept but it isn't a reality. The coaches love Jimmie Ward (hence him making it through Harbaugh, Tomsula, Kelly and 3 years of Shanahan), but championship teams cannot fall in love with injury prone role players who will cost you 8 figures per season. If the 49ers are wise, they let Ward walk and draft a FS in April.



Next: No. 9 - Joe Staley
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers CB Charvarius Ward underwent surgery

By David Bonilla
18 hrs

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Charvarius Ward recently revealed via Instagram that he underwent a successful surgery. Details regarding the nature of the surgery or whether Ward played through an injury towards the end of this past season remain undisclosed. Ward's Instagram post simply stated, "Surgery was a breeze." #49ers CB Charvarius "Mooney" Ward announced on IG that he underwent surgery. However, he did not disclose what the surgery was for.



Signing Brandon Aiyuk to a contract extension should be 49ers' top offseason priority

By David Bonilla
Feb 13

Super Bowl 58 showcased that the San Francisco 49ers' roster has room for improvement despite possessing one of the most talent-rich units in the NFL. The right side of the offensive line could use some reinforcement. The cornerback position opposite Charvarius Ward might need addressing. Additionally, the 49ers' run defense struggled during the postseason. However, the offseason focus should center on wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, the latest star player due for a contract extension. With the team exercising its fifth-year option on the wideout, Aiyuk is signed through the upcoming season. Now, the question remains whether both sides can reach an agreement. While the 49ers have been fortunate in previous years, signing their star players to contract extensions



ESPN believes 49ers are best fit for top free agent O-lineman

By David Bonilla
Feb 21

ESPN recently ranked the top 50 impending free agents this offseason. This week, Matt Bowen took a closer look at the list, assigning a "best fit" for each player. One player stood out as a potential game-changer for the San Francisco 49ers, filling a significant need for head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad. Guard Robert Hunt came in at No. 14 within the free agent ranking and is the top-ranked offensive lineman on the list. Bowen sees a pairing between Hunt and the 49ers as a great



49ers Notebook: Nick Bosa lobbies for 49ers to keep Chase Young; Kyle Juszczyk addresses his future; Has anyone on the team watched the Super Bowl yet?

By Kirk Larrabee
Feb 13

The offseason is underway for the San Francisco 49ers, which means the team's decision makers will soon have to determine which free agents they would like to try to keep and which ones they'll have to let go. One of the more interesting cases is defensive end Chase Young, whom the 49ers added during the regular season from the Washington Commanders in exchange for a third-round draft pick. It may be hard for the 49ers to prevent Young from being more than a rent-a-player, but Young's friend and former Ohio State University teammate Nick Bosa made it clear Tuesday he'd like to see general manager John Lynch and the 49ers brass find a way to keep Young on the team. In this edition of the 49ers Notebook, we delve into a range of topics starting with Bosa's


Latest

More by Gilbert Brink

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone