Jimmie Ward appears to be sticking with DeMeco Ryans.
Ward, a star defensive back for the San Francisco 49ers, is expected to join the Houston Texans, the NFL Network reported Monday.
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The details of the contract were not immediately revealed, but should the deal happen, Ward would be playing for Ryans again after the defensive-minded coach took the reins in Houston at the start of the offseason. Ryans was the defensive coordinator for San Francisco in 2021 and 2022.
Ward had been a staple in the 49ers’ secondary since he was selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Northern Illinois. He spent nine seasons with the 49ers and racked up 451 tackles, seven interceptions and three sacks.
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In 2022, Ward played in 12 games and had 50 combined tackles with three interceptions. He added two QB hits and a tackle for a loss. San Francisco had the best defense in the NFL last season. The team was first in points and yards allowed.
San Francisco made it to the NFC Championship but a debilitating quarterback injury crushed its chances of getting to the Super Bowl as they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles.
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In the wake of the playoff exit, Ryans took the head coaching job with the Texans as Houston looks to rebuild and revamp following a few years of uncertainty and unsuccessful seasons. Houston has the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft this year and may draft a quarterback.