One of the most well-liked players in recent Ravens history is reportedly coming back home. Tony Jefferson is retiring from the NFL and will join the Ravens as a scouting intern this summer.
ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the news of Jefferson's retirement. Jefferson will be with the Ravens as part of the Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellowship, created by the NFL in 2015.
Jefferson played nine seasons in the NFL, including 39 games over four years with the Ravens. He's always had the dream of becoming an NFL scout.
"I would always love to become a GM, but I know how hard it is to get in that position and I know it takes a lot of hard work, too," Jefferson said on the "Studio 44" podcast with Marlon Humphrey last year. "Scouting is something I really like doing. I see myself scouting even when I'm coaching my son's [youth] team."
Jefferson, 31, spent last season with the New York Giants after being released at the end of training camp. He had the decision to stay on the Ravens' practice squad or go to New York, and he chose the Giants. But it wasn't an easy decision.
"I have to be honest, that is family over there (Baltimore), from front office down to the players, everybody," Jefferson said upon arriving in New York. "So it was very tough for me to make that decision. My heart has always been there."
In 2017, the Ravens signed Jefferson, who rose from being undrafted in 2013 to becoming one of the better safeties in the league, to a big four-year, $34 million contract. He was instantly embraced in Baltimore, alongside good friend Eric Weddle, and quickly became a favorite in the locker room.
Jefferson's career changed, however, when he suffered a major knee injury five games into the 2019 season. He spent the entire 2020 season out of football before the Ravens gave him his first real chance back in the league (after the San Francisco 49ers barely gave him any playing time) late in the 2021 season.
Jefferson proved he could play again in the NFL, but the Ravens were loaded at safety last offseason after signing Marcus Williams and drafting Kyle Hamilton, so there wasn't enough room for Jefferson on the 53-man roster. He went to New York and played in nine games (one start), making 23 tackles and playing 27% of the defensive snaps.
Jefferson was transitioning to linebacker this offseason but had yet to be picked up by any team. Over his nine seasons, Jefferson played in 113 games (67 starts), made 492 tackles, four interceptions, eight forced fumbles, and 9.5 sacks. One of the smoothest plays of his career was a strip of Steelers tight end Vance McDonald in Pittsburgh.
Jefferson has talked many times about one day becoming a general manager, and there's no better place to start than as a scout with the team he loves, which has a long lineage of scouts rising through the NFL ranks.
Fellow former Ravens safety Anthony Levine retired last offseason and became a player personnel assistant in the Ravens' front office. He also helped with coaching the special teams unit last season.