The Buccaneers And Jimmie Ward

January 20th, 2020

Bad foot, pulled quad, bad hamstring, two broken arms, and a load of missed games through five seasons, it makes you wonder how and why 49ers GM John Lynch gave safety Jimmie Ward a one-year, $4.5 million contract for the 2019 season.

A 2014 first-round pick, Ward somehow showed enough when healthy to earn a strong deal from a guy who didn’t draft him.

Seemingly right on cue, Ward started this year by breaking his collar bone in May and a finger in the summer. But the investment paid off for the Niners; Ward stayed healthy after returning from finger surgery in Week 5.

“Jimmie’s versatility,” 49ers coordinator Robert Saleh said, via the Sacramento Bee. “I don’t know if there’s, I don’t want to blur it, but there’s not a lot of free safeties like him who is an exceptional cover guy along with the range he has in the middle of the field and his ability to do different things and the instinctiveness that he plays with, the physicality that he plays with.”

Joe’s interest, of course, is in Ward becoming an unrestricted free agent after he finishes the season in the Super Bowl.

The Bucs need an upgrade at safety, and maybe 28-year-old Ward is a guy worth a calculated gamble. All his teammates seem to rave about him, as do Niners fans.

And hey, Bucs general manager Jason Licht has rolled the dice on guys like T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart, and somehow he thought Chris Conte was worthy of a prominent role, so why not Ward?

34 Responses to “The Buccaneers And Jimmie Ward”

  1. Bill Gootee Says:

    Licht loves his scratch and dent sales, so Ward will probably be a Buc

  2. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    He signs here, gets injured again, Licht gets roasted by admin and the haters for signing a guy with his history. The more likely scenario.

  3. Dewey Selmon Says:

    We already have a injury prone safety by the name of Justin Evans.

  4. Bucky23 Says:

    Sheesh joe how many guys you think we can sign??? Haha jk I know you are just highlighting viable options.

  5. Bucs Guy Says:

    The Bucs have $1.6M in Justin Evans and $0.5M in D’Cota Dixon this year — including almost $0.5M of dead money if they cut Evans. I think the Bucs are keeping both for one more year. Maybe a 3rd or 4th rd pick for S.

  6. Pewter power Says:

    He’ll come with a big price tag just for playing in the superbowl and I’m sure he knows it. Kinda hard going from where he is now to a team like the bucs especially after seeing how many interceptions winston throws. NFL guys know that’s a hard way to win so the money would really have to be worth it.

  7. AwShbucs Says:

    The only free agent I legitimately have any strong desire to sign outside of our own group, is Jack Conklin.

  8. cmurda Says:

    Don’t talk ill of Chris Conte.

    Signed, Sabby the Goat

  9. geno711 Says:

    Make this a tough defense. Get the best safety in the league. Jamal Adams.

  10. Isaac haggins Says:

    How Embarrassing for the Glazers and Bucs fans that Lynch can get the arguably one of the top three worst teams in Football in the Super Bowl and he did it with Kwon !!! I’ve been saying it for a long long time , this fraternity of meathead football guys are an illusional, delusional Joke !!! At least Andy Reid has the eye after and put Mahomes but he had better run it better or the qb in the NFL will lose the big one !!!

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Jimmy “Infirmary” Ward

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    He would cost so much more than he is worth. Buyer beware.

  13. Joe in Michigan Says:

    When the Niners DC’s first words out of his mouth is “Jimmie’s versatility”, it reminds me of when we drafted M.J. Stewart in the 2nd Round and the first thing Jason Licht says is “he’s versatile”. Versatility has its merits, but talent is a better quality, IMHO.

  14. catcard202 Says:

    HaHa Clinton-Dix over Ward.

  15. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Fan Favorite Chris Conte strikes again!

  16. geno711 Says:

    At Cornerback, the Buc’s have worked out Calgary Stampeder Tre Roberson.

    Roberson was a quarterback that switched to a corner after college.

    He had two great seasons in a row.

    He was also worked out by the 49ers, Vikings, Lions, Bears, Chargers, Colts, Patriots and Cardinals. He has at least 5 other workouts with NFL teams.

    He is the hottest CFL prospect in years.

  17. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Since you all love Chris Conte so much, there’s a Safety from his alma mater in the draft this year, Ashtyn Davis. He even resembles Conte.

  18. WestChap Says:

    Got a chuckle out of the Kwon reference above. I’m not sure Lynch is celebrating that signing as Kwon to SF worked out great for Bucs… we get a 3rd round compensatory pick and SF got 22 tackles after he hit IR. He came in for a little bit last night and promptly gave up a touchdown right up the seam… next play: breakout rookie Greenlaw is right back in. Never understood the Kwon hype here or the big payday in SF… maybe next year or the SB will clear things up?

  19. Kalind Says:

    Not sure how we pay Jameis/Brady, JPP, Shaq, Suh, Perriman, Hunt and make a run at a veteran CB and still have room for Jimmie Ward…. seems like a hefty % of the cap space there *understatement*

  20. Buczilla Says:

    Injury prone much? No thanks. Pull off the band-aid and draft Grant Delpit already in the first or Xavier McKinney in the second.

  21. SB Says:

    I am 53 yrs old. Carpenter by trade. Contractor now but I have seen a Doctor 6 times in the last 20 years.
    Health can’t be taught.

  22. stpetebucsfan Says:


    And it’s not going to get any better…never really saw a Doc…except for a motorcycle accident. Now at 72 it would take too much time to list all the docs I see and I’m “healthy” for my age. Not beotching because my body at least still lets me play tennis, lift weights etc..pretty much everything I used to do.


    You’d like the latest Walter Football mock. They have us taking Delpit 14th.
    That seems high for me…rather have one of the monster OT’s coming out.
    Your second round idea appeals more to me…IF we’re really that desperate for a safety…I probably take an RB in the 2nd unless your guy is a BPA.

  23. Craig Says:

    Delpit should be around at #14. He is even more versatile than Ward. He was injured most of this season but he is more durable than Ward too.

  24. Swampbuc Says:

    Injury prone high priced dudes aren’t what the Bucs need. A veteran safety? Sure. But not him.

  25. Says:

    draft a QB and we can hire whomever we want

  26. QBKilla Says:

    There will not be enough cap room left for Ward. He’s injury prone anyway.

  27. Buczilla Says:


    Walter Football puts out good stuff. Prior to 2019, Delpit was looking like a top ten guy from what I was reading on him. 2019 was a down year for him and he wasn’t as good of a tackler. I love your idea of taking a monster tackle 1st and then looking at safety or running back in the 2nd. BPA works for me too though since we need help everywhere. The draft is like a second Christmas for me since the Buccaneers have been bad far more than they have been good. 😃

    Also, if you are into the draft, check out (I hope that plugging other sites is ok here). The level of minutiae they have on prospects makes my brain hurt at times, but it is very informative.

  28. Adrnagy Says:

    Another CB ? Man …. we can’t move to next position. It’s either K or CB. No wonder vita vea is the only currently signed on DL. Lol.

  29. westernbuc Says:

    How much for Bradley Mcdougald?

  30. adam from ny Says:

    with lynch as a gm, he might just be a safety guru…

    so if he lets the dude go…there will be a dam good reason…

    so buyer beware…if such is the case

  31. NOLES Says:


    Well said on Kwon… he misses sooooo many plays but he talks a big game…

    I like Conklin but he has injury history & we have too much $ tied up in an avg line. We need to UPG the line via the draft & save $. That includes cutting Jensen, draft C in 1st 2rds.

    Spend that $ in FA on a quality safety while resigning our FA’s on D.

    As far as Rivers as QB.. i guess only if you draft a QB high which would change above… Let’s see what the BUCS do..

  32. TOM Says:

    Maybe its me but I don’t think we need safeties as bad as some think we do. I just don’t see it as a high priority. OT, RB, QB, yes but safety no.

  33. BucFanDuh Says:

    Trade Jason Licht for John Lynch..

  34. “That guy” Says:

    Joe, how is it that you write articles for a living and don’t know the difference between “there” and “their”.