The Ravens have re-signed safety Tony Jefferson, the team announced Feb. 24, bringing back a veteran who had a successful reunion with the team late this past season.
Jefferson, 30, played four games for the Ravens in 2021 after signing in December to help shore up a depleted secondary. He finished with 17 tackles and one sack and also had three tackles on special teams.
Undrafted out of Oklahoma, Jefferson played four seasons for the Arizona Cardinals before the Ravens signed him to a four-year, $34 million deal in 2017. He became one of the most popular players in the locker room and also served as one of the team’s unofficial recruiters in free agency.
Jefferson suffered a torn ACL that ended his 2019 season after five games, and he was released the following summer.
Jefferson remained unsigned in 2020, then returned to action in 2021 with the San Francisco 49ers and appeared in two games before being released in December. The Ravens signed him to the practice squad a few days later, and he was promoted to the 53-man roster before the regular-season finale.
The Ravens return veteran safety Chuck Clark, as well as Geno Stone and 2021 rookies Brandon Stephens and Ar’Darius Washington, while DeShon Elliott is a pending free agent whose market is unclear after he suffered his third major injury in four seasons.
After a season in which the Ravens produced 15 takeaways, the second-lowest total in franchise history, the Ravens are thought to be in the market for a ball-hawking starting safety. Jefferson will likely take on a reserve and special teams role while serving as locker room mentor to the young safeties.
With the re-signing of Jefferson and the retirement of defensive back and de facto special teams captain Anthony Levine, the Ravens still have 19 players who are set to hit unrestricted free agency next month, including Elliott, cornerback Anthony Averett, defensive linemen Brandon Williams and Calais Campbell, center Bradley Bozeman and Pro Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard.
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