Los Angeles Chargers Add Another Former Raven, Veteran Safety

Credit: Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this month it was reported by Bleacher Report that veteran safety, Tony Jefferson, came out of retirement and tried out for several teams, including the Los Angeles Chargers. As of Friday morning, Jefferson is signing with the Bolts.

The 32-year-old played for the Baltimore Ravens from 2017 to 2021 when current Chargers GM, Joe Hortiz, was the club’s director of player personnel.

The former 2013 undrafted free agent announced his retirement in May of 2023 with the intent to become a scout for the Ravens. A year later Jefferson announced he was coming out of retirement.

During his minicamp press conference defensive coordinator, Jesse Minter gave a glowing report of Tony Jefferson.

“Tony’s a guy I’ve known since 2017and just a Pros Pro, that is very knowledgeable of some of the things that we’re doing defensively. He was that guy you could move around you could put in different spots. You could play him at safety. You could play him at Dime. You could play him a little bit of big nickel. I think he still has some of those traits.”

Minter also said he wanted to clone Derwin James. This move is as close to doing that as ethically possible.

Yesterday, James gave the move his seal of approval as well, saying he wanted the team to sign him.

Troy Jefferson Comes Out Of Retirement, Signs With Los Angeles Chargers

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Chargers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jefferson will join the Chargers safety room led by Derwin James and Alohi Gilman. Behind them, the Chargers lack experience at the position. AJ Finley and JT Woods played just a handful of snaps last year. They also added two UDFAs this year, Akeem Dent and Jalyn Phillips. Gilman was signed to a two-year contract extension earlier this year.

Jefferson is in the mold of a Derwin James-like safety. He is stout against the run and is a good pass rusher as well. In his nine seasons in the league, he intercepted four passes and defended 19. He also compiled 164 run stops and 10 sacks. He played four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, before joining the Ravens. He also played for the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants before his retirement.

Jefferson fits the new team build that Jim Harbaugh is implementing of a large physical bruising style of play.

He is now the third former Raven the Chargers have signed this year.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Baltimore Ravens
Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports