There are many free agents on the 49ers, such as Jimmie Ward. Ward is one of the 49ers’ longest-tenured players and will be exploring free agency in the offseason. Ward has expressed frustration with how the 49ers have handled the way he was used, especially with how he has taken pay cuts for the team. Now, Ward has expressed that he wants to get paid, which may be difficult for the 49ers. Here are some ideas on where the 49ers free agent, Jimmie Ward will sign in the 2023 offseason.
Free Agent Jimmie Ward
Jimmie Ward is a safety, who played nickel this season. Despite switching positions, Ward did a strong job in the slot. Ward lost his position at starting safety to Tashaun Gipson, who is also a 49ers free agent. Ward was okay with switching positions, but did not like how it was handled, and wants to be paid for what he did. Here are some options on where Jimmie Ward will play in 2023.
San Francisco 49ers
Ward has said on his Instagram live that he would be open to coming back to San Francisco in 2023. The issue is that he wants to be paid, and the team may not be able to afford him. The 49ers will need to choose between Ward and Gipson, if they would like to keep either. It is unlikely that Jimmie Ward returns to the 49ers, but there is still a possibility.
New York Jets
The New York Jets had a strong defense in 2022, and adding another defensive back can be big for them. The Jets head coach, Robert Saleh, worked with Jimmie Ward when he was the Defensive Coordinator for the 49ers. While most of the offseason talk with the Jets has been about the quarterback position, this could be a big pick-up by them, if they want to spend the money.
The Detroit Lions were just one win away from making playoffs in 2022. The Lions have been focusing on building up their defense, and adding Jimmie Ward could help them. The NFC North could be wide open next season, depending on where Aaron Rodgers goes, and stacking their defense could help them make playoffs for the first time in years. Jimmie Ward can also play nickel, which can benefit the Lions if they choose to sign Ward.
The Miami Dolphins do have safety Jevon Holland but could use another strong player in that position on their roster. Ward could boost the Dolphins’ defense, which only had eight interceptions in the 2022 regular season, according to ESPN. Ward had three interceptions in 2022, according to ESPN, and due to pass deflections, he assisted in getting the 49ers more interceptions. This could be a piece that the Dolphins need to be a strong contender in the AFC in 2023.
The Houston Texans are another possibility to sign Jimmie Ward in the 2023 offseason. The Texans are attempting to rebuild under new head coach, Demeco Ryans. Similar to the situation with the Jets, Jimmie Ward has worked with Ryans, as he has been the Defensive Coordinator with the 49ers for the past two years. Although the Texans have been a poor team the past couple of years, all the teams in the AFC South are questionable except the Jacksonville Jaguars. If the Texans can build a defense that can stop the Jaguars, they can compete for playoffs.
There is no one team that Jimmie Ward is leaning toward, but it is clear he wants to be paid for the amount of work he puts into the game. There could definitely be other teams that Ward will speak to, these are just a couple of teams to think about heading into Free Agency.
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