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Texans expected to sign ex-49ers DB Jimmie Ward

Head coach DeMeco Ryans is bringing a familiar face to Houston.

The Texans are expected to sign former 49ers defensive back Jimmie Ward, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday.

Ward, a nine-year veteran with six years spent playing while Ryans was on the staff in San Francisco, has seven career interceptions, five forced fumbles and 451 tackles.

Ward came on especially strong in the past two seasons for the 49ers, setting a career high in tackles with 77 in 2021 and interceptions with three in 2022. His performance was enough to place him at No. 35 on Gregg Rosenthal's top 101 free agents.

San Francisco will miss one of its understated leaders, and the loss figures to be a major gain for Houston considering Ward's elevated play the past two years coincided with Ryans' ascent to defensive coordinator.

Ward's teammate, defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway, also made the jump from the Bay Area today after starting seven games for the 49ers last season. He is signing a one-year, $3.25 million deal with Houston, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported.

Thus, Ryans' rebuild begins, and it starts with reliable pieces from his past.

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