49ers exercise fifth-year option on Jimmie Ward
- With the 2017 NFL Draft now in the rear-view mirror, the San Francisco 49ers have opted to pick up Jimmie Ward’s fifth-year option.
- Ward will receive the option amount for cornerbacks, where he’s spent the first three seasons of his career, but will move to safety in San Francisco’s transition to a single-high coverage scheme on defense.
- During his first three seasons, Ward has spent the majority of his snaps in the slot, where he managed to overcome a rocky rookie campaign to become a solid performer for the 49ers.
- Ward has been one of the best tackling cornerbacks in the NFL since entering the league in 2014, a skill that should help in his transition to safety. Among cornerbacks with at least 75 tackles in that span, Ward’s 25.0 tackling efficiency ranks second, trailing only Jason McCourty.