The 49ers expect Ward (forearm) to be ready for the start of the team's offseason program in mid-April, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

After spending time at cornerback in 2016, Ward shifted back to free safety last season at the request of the 49ers' new coaching staff and was productive before fracturing his forearm, registering 32 tackles (27 solo) in seven games. Though Ward's salary is set to quadruple to $8.52 million during the upcoming season due to his fifth-year player option, the 49ers could negotiate a longer-term extension with the defensive back in order to spread the guaranteed money out over multiple seasons. Ward will be in line for a starting role in the secondary once again in 2018.

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