According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, nine-year NFL veteran safety Tony Jefferson is retiring from NFL play. However, Jefferson is not straying far from the game; instead, he is set to join the Baltimore Ravens this summer as a scout.
Jefferson is a former Raven who originally signed a four-year, $36 million deal in 2017. In those four years, Jefferson played 35 games for the team and made his presence known as a hard-hitting safety who split time deep as a free safety and inside the box. In 2019, Jefferson suffered a torn ACL against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 5, and was cut the following year, with the Ravens releasing a statement even as both sides held one another in great respect.
“This is the worst part of his business,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said in a statement. “Tony is the consummate teammate and someone who is respected by everyone for his leadership, determination, humility and toughness. He’s a friend to all and a true Raven. We know he’s going to beat his injury and we will be cheering for him all along the way. We wish the very best to Tony and his family.”
Jefferson eventually found his way back to the team for a second stint, originally joining as a member of their practice squad before playing in four more games. But in 2022, Jefferson was one of the final members cut for the 53-man roster. Jefferson went on to join the New York Giants in 2022.
In all, Jefferson totaled 174 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, eight quarterback hits, 4.5 sacks and two interceptions as a Raven.
Along with being a player for the Ravens, he became a fan favorite for being a spirited competitor who brought trash talk on the field and on Twitter. When he originally signed with the Ravens, Jefferson taunted Cleveland Browns fans as he signed with Baltimore for less money and was proud of the decision he made.