There is nearly a month until NFL free agency begins and teams are beginning to make some roster cuts to clear up cap space. Among the recent roster moves, Tony Jefferson was released by the Baltimore Ravens.
Jefferson spent three seasons with the Ravens and was a leader on the defense while he was on the team. The first two seasons of Jefferson’s time in Baltimore went along pretty smoothly as he combined for 153 tackles, eight deflections, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles.
In 2019, Jefferson suffered a torn ACL that would sideline him for the final 11 weeks of the season. His injury coupled with his cap hit in 2020 made it an uphill climb for him to remain on the roster.
Then, the writing was on the wall for Jefferson when the Ravens recently gave Chuck Clark an extension. With Jefferson heading into free agency, here are three teams who should look into signing the former Ravens safety.
3. New York Giants
The New York Giants are definitely a team that could benefit from adding Jefferson. The Giants began the season with Jabrill Peppers starting at strong safety until he suffered a back injury.
When Peppers went down with an injury, Michael Thomas replaced him on the back end of the defense. But with Thomas headed to free agency, Jefferson could be a formidable replacement.
The Giants lacked experience in their secondary in 2019 as Antoine Bethea was the only starter that had more than two years in the NFL. Adding Jefferson would give New York a player that could be a veteran leader on and off of the field.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last offseason, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired Todd Bowles as the team’s next defensive coordinator under Bruce Arians. In his first year in Tampa Bay, he helped the Buccaneers have the No. 1 ranked run defense. At the same time, the Buccaneers also had the 30th ranked pass defense in the NFL.
Provided that, Jefferson could be a solid addition for a secondary that lacks veteran leadership. Additionally, Jefferson has previous experience with the current regime in Tampa Bay.
The veteran safety began his career in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 as an undrafted rookie. In his first two seasons in the NFL, Jefferson played under both Arians and Bowles; making the Buccaneers a possible suitor.
1. Las Vegas Raiders
Last but not least, the Las Vegas Raiders are likely going to be a team that should express interest in Jefferson. At the strong safety position, the Raiders could lose former first-round pick Karl Joseph in free agency.
With Jon Gruden being a fan of signing veterans, Jefferson is a perfect fit for Las Vegas. The Raiders surrendered an average of 256.7 passing yards per game in 2019 (25th in the NFL).
To shore up the safety position, Jefferson could be an obvious choice for Las Vegas. In addition, signing Jefferson could give Johnathan Abram a mentor in the secondary in his second season in the NFL.