James “Jimmie” Ward (born July 18, 1991) is an American football-free safety for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL).



He played college football at Northern Illinois and was drafted by the 49ers in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Ward attended Davidson High School in Mobile, Alabama. He led the Warriors in tackles as a senior with 101 tackles, 73 solos, as Davidson went 10-3 and advanced to the state quarterfinals while earning team Defensive MVP honors.



Ward also recorded eight pass break-ups, an interception, forced two fumbles, and recovered three. He added three blocked kicks and three quarterback sacks. As a junior, Ward made 93 tackles, broke up seven passes, and intercepted five.

He also caused a pair of fumbles and blocked two kicks. He is the cousin of former NBA player Caron Butler.

On September 17, 2017, Ward made his season debut and recorded five combined tackles, and deflected a pass in a 9-12 road loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

The following week, he made his first start as a free safety and collected a season-high seven solo tackles during a narrow 39-41 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. During Week 8, Ward made three combined tackles in a 10-33 road loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

He left the game after suffering a fractured forearm. On November 1, 2017, Ward was placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.

On March 13, 2019, Ward signed a one-year, $4.5 million contract extension with the 49ers.

In Super Bowl LIV against the Kansas City Chiefs, Ward recorded a team-high 11 tackles during the 31–20 loss.

On March 24, 2020, Ward signed a three-year, $28.5 million contract extension with the 49ers. In Week 12 against the Los Angeles Rams, Ward forced fumbles on Jared Goff and Malcolm Brown that were both recovered by the 49ers during the 23–20 win.

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