The 49ers are set to meet with Tony Jefferson this week (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler). The veteran safety has not played in nearly two years, but he could mount a comeback with the 49ers if he passes his physical.
An ACL tear in October of 2019 sidetracked Jefferson’s NFL career. Then, the pandemic interfered with Jefferson’s rehab. Under normal circumstances, Jefferson would have been mostly healed by April. Instead, he was unable to see his physical therapist or gain access to the equipment he needed.
“I was really getting into a groove with my workouts and my rehab,” Jefferson said. “Now, I’m waiting two or three weeks just to get a medicine ball.”
After spending the early part of his career with the Cardinals, Jefferson inked a four-year, $34MM contract with the Ravens in 2017. He started in all 35 of his games for Baltimore from 2017-2019, but the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus weren’t fond of his work in 2019 (the five-game season). The Ravens went on to release Jefferson in February of 2020, but he wasn’t healthy enough to land a deal elsewhere.
Jefferson will have to settle for less than his last contract, but he’ll be better positioned next year if he can turn in a healthy season. After all, he’s still just 29 years old with five-plus seasons worth of starting experience to his credit.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.