HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans have agreed to a two-year, $13 million contract with longtime San Francisco 49ers safety Jimmie Ward, sources told ESPN, confirming an NFL Network report.
Ward, who spent his entire nine-year career in San Francisco after being drafted 30th overall in 2014, brings versatility to a Texans team that ranked 30th in total defense, as he played both safety and cornerback for the 49ers. He is also familiar with new Texans coach DeMeco Ryans' scheme, as Ryans coached the San Francisco defense for five seasons, most recently serving as the team's defensive coordinator from 2021 to '22.
Ward, who turns 32 in July, could also take on a mentorship role for younger players in the Texans' secondary, such as cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. and safety Jalen Pitre, who just completed their rookie seasons.
Ward became a mainstay in the 49ers' secondary after spending the early part of his career dealing with injuries and bouncing between cornerback and safety. However, when injuries struck the defensive backfield this past season, Ward, the team's longest-tenured player in 2022, again found himself on the move, spending the season at nickel cornerback.
He couldn't escape the injury bug either, playing just 12 games after starting the season on injured reserve with a hamstring issue and later missing another game with a broken left hand. He finished the season with 50 tackles, three interceptions and a forced fumble.
Ward posted 451 tackles, 3 sacks, 7 interceptions and 7 forced fumbles in 106 career regular-season games, all of which were spent with the Niners.
ESPN's Nick Wagoner contributed to this report.