Ward posts heartfelt 49ers goodbye after signing with Texans


Jimmie Ward, formerly the longest-tenured 49ers player, departed earlier this month after nine seasons with San Francisco.

The veteran safety signed a two-year, $13 million contract with the Houston Texans in free agency, joining former 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans' squad. 

San Francisco selected Ward with the No. 30 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, and with the 31-year-old gone, defensive tackle Arik Armstead now is the longest-tenured 49ers player. 

More than a week after agreeing to terms with the Texans, Ward took to Instagram, where he posted a heartfelt goodbye to the only team he had known. 

Ward had plenty of ups and downs at the beginning of his NFL career before becoming one of San Francisco's most consistent players and a veteran anchor to the 49ers' defense. 

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Primarily a free safety, Ward bounced around the defensive backfield, recording starts at outside and slot cornerback positions. His flexibility and underrated play caught the attention of coach Kyle Shanahan, who in 2019, dubbed Ward his favorite player and said that he would wear the defensive back's jersey on the sideline if he could. 

Ward undoubtedly departs as one of the most respected and admired players in the locker room and amongst the fanbase. Joining a young Texans defense, he should provide stability for an up-and-coming Houston team. 

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