Back in October, Ravens safety Tony Jefferson suffered a season-ending ACL injury. This was, by all accounts, a big loss as the Ravens were already down two other secondary players as Tavon Young suffered a “serious neck issue” in OTAs and Jimmy Smith was sidelined in Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins.
The following week, the Ravens replaced Jefferson with third-year safety Chuck Clark, who was granted the “green dot.” To those unfamiliar, the green dot on a helmet signals which player has a live transmitter in their helmet, so they can hear the defensive coordinator or play-caller. So within the span of a week, the backup safety became not only the starter, but the man who is leading the defense on each play and lining them up correctly.
With Clark’s success, the franchise and the fans realize Jefferson’s time with Baltimore will likely come to an end. Clark out-performed Jefferson. Pro Football Focus gave Clark an overall grade of 72.8, which is 0.4 higher than Tony Jefferson’s best season (2018).
The play difference leans toward Clark going forward, but the business side of the NFL is where the scale tips. If the Ravens were to cut Jefferson, they’d save $7 million in cap space.
Eric DeCosta has been all business in his first year as the Ravens’ general manager and it’s safe to assume he’ll inform Jefferson the team will be moving on without him. Fans, though, have been clamoring for him to return—at a discount—as he’s a “glue guy” who has helped lead the young secondary and established himself as a great veteran presence. In his Instagram post today, Jefferson is not of the same mind.
One of the comments told Jefferson to, “Take tht pay cut bruh,” to which Jefferson replied, “you take that pay cut.”
After a response from the original commenter, Jefferson responded once more with, “championship! that’s why I took less money to come to b more in the first place . Left millions on the table don’t forget I been a real 1.”
It’s clear Jefferson knows his situation heading into 2020 and he’ll most likely find himself on his third team.