One Kansas City Chiefs player that took to free agency this offseason earned his first big NFL payday during the first day of the legal tampering period.
Ward inked a three-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers, which is worth up to $42 million with $26.7 million guaranteed, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on March 15.
As an undrafted player out of Middle Tennessee State, Ward signed with the Chiefs as a rookie in 2018. From that point, he ascended into a starter role opposite of L’Jarius Sneed in Kansas City’s secondary. In 2021 as a starter, Ward played in 16 regular-season games, recording 48 tackles, 10 passes defended, and two interceptions, according to Pro Football Reference. During the postseason, he recorded 12 tackles and three passes defended.
Ward earned a 71.2 defense grade from PFF for his efforts during the 2021 season, which ranked 21st among all NFL cornerbacks.
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Ward Thanks Chiefs Kingdom in Twitter Post
After news broke about Ward inking a deal with the 49ers, the now-former Chiefs defender took to Twitter to thank Chiefs Kingdom.
“Thanks #ChiefsKingdom for 4 great years. Blessed to have been a part of such a great organization. Great coaches, great fans, & a great team. Love y’all,” he wrote.
A couple of Ward’s teammates in Kansas City reacted to Ward’s post.
“Congrats Brodie!!! Most deserving,” safety Armani Watts wrote.
“Well deserve way to bet on urself,” cornerback Bashaud Breeland wrote.
Other Twitter users also reacted to Ward’s first big NFL contract.
“Charvarius Ward is a good starting cornerback but I really do not think he is 4 million dollars better than Ronald Darby, who people were saying was an overpay,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Charvarius Ward was a player linked to the #49ers last week so not surprised he was the guy. His coverage numbers are very good, but doesn’t get many INTs (4 for his career), kind of similar to Moseley actually in that regard. Definitely an upgrade for the CB room,” another user wrote.
Chiefs Need to Address Secondary in Big Way
Re-tooling the secondary was on the list of priorities for the Chiefs entering the offseason. However, the Denver Broncos’ blockbuster trade for quarterback Russell Wilson on March 8 makes the re-tooling of the defensive backfield even more important.
After Kansas City used its franchise tag on starting left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson reported that Pro Bowl safety Tyrann Mathieu and the Chiefs are expected to part ways after four seasons. That, paired with Ward, Daniel Sorensen, Mike Hughes, Chris Lammons, and Armani Watts prepared to test free agency means the Chiefs need to address their safety and cornerback depth either through free agency, the draft, or both.
The Chiefs have already begun addressing the safety room by signing safety Justin Reid to a three-year, $31.5 million deal on March 15, which solidifies Mathieu’s departure from Kansas City. But with Ward gone, Sneed, Rashad Fenton, Deandre Baker, Zayne Anderson, and DiCaprio Bootle are the cornerbacks that are locked up through the 2022 season in Kansas City.
Unless the Chiefs expect Fenton or Baker to step into the No. 2 cornerback role, they might look to sign another player in free agency or draft one to start opposite of Sneed.