S Tony Jefferson Attempting NFL Comeback

Almost exactly one year ago, Tony Jefferson brought his playing career to an end. The veteran safety retired to begin a tenure in the Ravens’ scouting department. He has since reversed course.

Jefferson is now attempting to un-retire and play in the NFL this season, per Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report. The 32-year-old has played nine seasons to date, including four years with the Cardinals from 2013-16. He established himself as a full-time starter during that span, and in 2017 he inked a four-year Ravens deal worth $34MM. Jefferson wound up playing 39 games with Baltimore, including 35 starts.

An ACL tear limited the former UDFA to just five games in 2019, leading to his release during the subsequent offseason. After being out of the game for 2020, Jefferson joined the 49ers late in the 2021 offseason, but he made only a pair of appearances. That was followed by a brief Ravens reunion, though he did not survive roster cutdowns in 2022.

That led to a Giants agreement as it gave Jefferson the opportunity to once again work under then-defensive coordinator Don Martindale. The Oklahoma product played nine games with New York in 2022, but he saw more time on special teams than defense. That will likely remain the case if/when he finds a new home for this comeback attempt.

The 2024 offseason has not been kind to the safety market, and a number of established contributors are still unsigned. Those players will no doubt have a leg up on Jefferson (who has 113 games, 9.5 sacks and four interceptions to his name) in terms of landing a contract this summer. It will nevertheless be interesting to see if the latter receives interest from the Ravens – thought to be in the market for a depth safety addition – or an outside team.

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