Ravens To Release S Tony Jefferson

The Ravens have begun their final roster cuts, and a notable veteran is among them. Safety Tony Jefferson is being released, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). 

The safety position has seen plenty of turnover this offseason in Baltimore; Marcus Williams was the team’s top free agent signing, and the Ravens used the first of their two Day 1 selections on Kyle Hamilton in the draft. Those two, along with incumbent Chuck Clark, left Jefferson a narrow path to an initial roster spot.

Jefferson, 30, opened his career with the Cardinals, putting up consistent numbers while taking on a larger snap share with each passing year. That led him to Baltimore in free agency, where was a full-time starter until the midway point of the 2019 campaign. A knee injury left him sidelined him for the entire 2020 season, and led to four surgeries being required. He returned to Baltimore late this past year.

As a vested veteran, the Oklahoma product is not subject to waivers, and could sign anywhere in free agency. However, as has been the case with a number of respected veterans recently, the Ravens are likely to bring Jefferson back in the next day of so. Per Jeff Zrebiec of the Athletic (subscription required), Baltimore could simply wait until tomorrow’s necessary paper transactions (such as transferring injured players from the 53-man squad to IR) until re-signing him.

Assuming that takes place, Jefferson will be able to demonstrate his new-found health while competing with a number of younger options for a depth role on the team’s backend. If he remains willing to sign with the team on a handshake agreement, he could also be a practice squad candidate throughout the campaign, one in which the Ravens once again have high expectations on both sides of the ball.

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