The Ravens will release safety Tony Jefferson, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Jefferson was set to count for just under $12MM against the cap in 2020. Instead, the Ravens will erase a big chunk of it by cutting him.
After making a name for himself with the Cardinals, Jefferson signed a four-year, $34MM deal with the Ravens in 2017. Since then, he’s started in all of his games for the Ravens over the last three seasons. Last year, he saw his season cut short by an October ACL tear.
The move does not come as a surprise – Jefferson only played in five games last year and he was gone for most of the Ravens’ incredible 12-game win streak. Earlier this month, they extended fellow safety Chuck Clark, adding $15MM+ and three years to his last remaining contract year. Clark and Earl Thomas will start at safety for Baltimore in 2020 while Jefferson moves on to a new team.
After dropping Jefferson, the Ravens will have an additional $7MM as they head into the offseason. They’ll still be on the hook for $4.7MM in dead money, but that’s preferable to paying ~$12MM for a backup.
The Ravens appear poised to contend once again in 2020, but they’ll have some key issues to address this offseason. The to-do list includes the status of Pro Bowl outside linebacker Matt Judon, who could be tagged-and-traded. They’ll also look to extend left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who helped Lamar Jackson capture the MVP trophy.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.