Cornerback Charvarius Ward played on the other side the last time the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs met in the Super Bowl.
Ward played for the Chiefs from 2018 and 2021, which included a Super Bowl win in the 2019 season over the 49ers. He voiced his thoughts on being with the 49ers this time around.
“It’s better over here … in every way possible,” Ward told reporters at Super Bowl Opening on Monday.
To be sure, things improved for Ward on the field and the payroll when he moved from the Chiefs to the 49ers in 2022. An undrafted free agent out of Middle Tennessee State in 2018, Ward arrived in Kansas City via a trade with the Dallas Cowboys, but he put up meager numbers in four years with the Chiefs and only earned $5.59 million in that span.
Ward signed a 3-year, $40.5 million deal with the 49ers in 2022, and his career on the field only grew from there. He started all 17 games back-to-back seasons amid six interceptions, two forced fumbles, and 159 tackles.
His play elevated the 49ers defense this season, and he earned Pro Bowl and second team All-Pro honors along the way. Ward previously said he sees similarities between this year’s 49ers squad and his old Chiefs team that won their last Super Bowl tilt.
“I know we’ve got a great team,” Ward told reporters on February 3. “Everybody expected us to be in the Super Bowl. When I was in Kansas City and we won [against the 49ers], we just knew we were going to win the Super Bowl. That’s how this team feels this year.”
Charvarius Ward: ‘This is The Rematch Right Here’
Last time the 49ers and Chiefs met, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes shredded the 49ers secondary in a 2022 regular season game for 423 yards and three touchdowns. San Francisco came close to a rematch in the Super Bowl that season, but the Niners’ title hopes ended with a Brock Purdy elbow injury in the NFC Championship Game while the Chiefs reached another Super Bowl.
“It was kind of bittersweet, man,” Ward said. “I knew they were going to make it because they got a good team over there. They got Pat, and he’s the ultimate equalizer, and Travis Kelce, and Andy Reid calling plays. They’ve got a crazy Big Three.”
“It would have been sweet to play ’em last year but we got the opportunity this year. I’m sure that’s what Kyle Shanahan wanted as well. I’m sure he felt he had it in his hand in 2020 and kind of let it slip through. But this is the rematch right here,” Ward said.
Charvarius Ward Understands the GOAT Factor in the Super Bowl
Ward also know what it’s like to face a multi-time champion quarterback in the Super Bowl. He did that with the Chiefs against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2020 season, and it wasn’t pretty in a 31-9 defeat.
Mahomes could chase Brady’s seven Super Bowl wins with No. 3 in sight on Sunday. Ward said he knew Mahomes was special by Week 3 of the quarterback’s first season as starter in 2018, ironically after a win over the 49ers.
“That’s when I was like, ‘I never saw anything like this,’” Ward said on February 3. “Ever since then he’s been winning Super Bowl and he’s the GOAT [greatest of all time], man. One of the GOATS behind Tom Brady for sure.”