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Raiders Free Agent Targets: Jimmie Ward – Yardbarker

The Las Vegas Raiders are looking to get back to the playoffs after a disappointing 2022 season.
In order to do that, they need to add talent to a defense that was underwhelming last season. They have key free agents at every position on defense, and it’s possible they lose a few of them.
One area of the defense they will need to add to is the safety position. Duron Harmon, one of the Raiders’ starting safeties last season, is set to hit the open market, and they don’t have much depth at the position either, as Tre’von Moehrig and undrafted rookie Isaiah Pola-Mao are the only two safeties under contract.
One player who could bolster the Raiders’ safety position is the San Francisco 49ers’ Jimmie Ward. Ward moved to being a nickelback last season, but could slide back to safety if the Raiders needed him to.
Ward is a smart, versatile veteran defensive back who has played in three NFC Championship games. Let’s take a look at his career and see if he would be a good fit in the Silver and Black.
Ward was drafted No. 30 overall by the 49ers in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Northern Illinois. Since then, he has been a staple of the 49ers defense through five different defensive coordinators. In his career with San Francisco, Ward has recorded 451 total tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 44 passes defended and seven interceptions.
Ward signed a three-year contract with the 49ers in 2020 that is set to expire. General Manager Dave Ziegler has cap space at his disposal, so he can offer Ward a multi-year deal if he is seeking one. However, Ward has missed a number of games in his career due to different injuries, so Ziegler may be hesitant.
As a player, Ward is a smart defender and is very good in coverage. He is the type of player defensive coordinator Patrick Graham would love to have in his secondary. Ward can play multiple positions in the defensive backfield and can be a communicator. If Ziegler isn’t deterred by his injury history, he could make a run at signing Jimmie Ward. 
The NFL Scouting Combine is Feb. 28-March 6, 2023, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. On March 7, 2023, before 4 p.m. EST, is the club’s deadline to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March 13-15 is the free agent negotiation period. During that time, starting at 12 p.m. EDT on March 13 and ending at 3:59:59 p.m. EDT on March 15, clubs are permitted to contact and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2022 Player Contracts at 4 p.m EDT on March 15.
The 2023 NFL Year and Free Agency period begins at 4 p.m. EDT on March 15. The Raiders are expected to be significant players in the free-agent market this season.
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This article first appeared on FanNation Raider Maven and was syndicated with permission.
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Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
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