Fans of the San Francisco 49ers know how verbose and honest Jimmie Ward was, which made him a beloved fixture for the 49ers Faithful.
Now, fans will have to get used to seeing Ward outside of the 49ers’ facility — after signing with the Houston Texans during the start of the NFL free agency tampering period.
Ward, however, finally sounded off on his departure on Wednesday, March 22…by posting a lengthy, heartfelt message to the first NFL fan base he got to know via his personal Instagram page.
Ward’s Message to Organization
Ward posted a video slideshow of his best moments with the 49ers. He began with no ill feelings toward the team he began his career with in 2014. But admitted the emotions were a difficult one for him.
“As I sit down to write this message, I find it difficult to express the depth of gratitude and appreciation that I feel for the nine amazing years that I have spent playing for this organization. Being a part of the 49ers has been one of the greatest experiences of my life, and it is with a heavy heart that I now say goodbye,” was Ward’s first caption.
From there, he shared his thanks to the front office personnel who took a chance on the former Group of 5 defensive back out of Northern Illinois.
“To the organization: Thank you for drafting me all those years ago and giving me the opportunity to pursue my dream of playing in the NFL,” Ward said. “Thank you for your unwavering support, your encouragement, and your guidance throughout the years. You have been more than just a team to me — you have been a family. I am forever grateful for the memories we have shared, and I will always cherish the friendships that I have made within this organization.”
Ward Sends Next Message to the Faithful
From there, Ward then directed his attention to the fanbase that cheered him on for nine seasons.
“To the faithful fans: Thank you for your incredible support over the years. Your passion for the game and your dedication to the team have been nothing short of inspiring. You have been there for us through the highs and the lows, the wins and the losses, and your unwavering support has meant the world to me,” Ward said. “Playing in front of you has been an honor, and I will never forget the moments we shared together.”
Again, Ward is heading to a new home. But it’s one with past 49ers representation as he reunites with his defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans while also will be joined by his teammate for 2022 Hassan Ridgeway. Still, the gratitude for the Niners remain for Ward.
“Although I may be moving on to a new team, I will always hold a special place in my heart for the San Francisco 49ers and the faithful family. I am proud to have been a part of this incredible organization, and I will carry the lessons that I have learned here with me for the rest of my life,” Ward said. “Thank you for everything.”
Ward ends his 49ers career with 79 career regular season starts, seven interceptions (including his career-best three last season), 44 pass deflections, five forced fumbles, 451 total tackles and 11 tackles for a loss per Pro Football Reference.
His deal with the Texans is a two-year, $13 million contract that will make him a 33-year-old free agent by the 2025 offseason.