The Super Bowl 57 dreams of the San Francisco 49ers came crashing down on Sunday when they lost in the NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles on the road. Already out of Super Bowl contention, the 49ers will soon turn their focus on finding ways to shore up their roster, which may or may not have safety Jimmie Ward beyond, starting in the 2023 NFL season.

Ward is going to be one of the top 49ers players to watch out for in the looming NFL free agency. The 31-year-old defensive back, however, was not very clear about his feelings with regard to returning to the Bay Area for at least another year (h/t
David Lombardi of The Athletic).

Jimmie Ward: “I’m good at safety and I’m good at nickel. I’m a good football player, so it’s going to help me in free agency.”

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I asked Ward if he was open to returning to the 49ers and he said “yes”, but he also worded other sentences as if he won’t be part of team next season

There will always be a market for the services of someone like Ward, who’s never played for another team outside the 49ers in his NFL career so far. Ward was taken in the first round (30th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Niners and proceeded to become one of the most reliable pieces of San Francisco’s stop unit.

In the 2022 NFL season, Jimmie Ward collected a career-high three interceptions to go along with 50 combined tackles and two quarterback hits across 12 games (5 starts).