Tony Jefferson is retiring from the NFL, but the former Ravens safety isn’t leaving football.
The 31-year-old is returning to Baltimore as a scout this summer, the Ravens announced Thursday. He will be joining the team as part of the Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellowship.
The fellowship, established by the NFL in 2015 and named after former executives John Wooten and the late Bill Nunn, provides former players interested in a career in professional scouting hands-on experience as full-time members of an NFL scouting staff during a season-long internship.
Jefferson has long talked about wanting to be an NFL general manager and will take that next step as one of 21 current or former players participating in the 10th annual Senior Bowl scout school June 4-7 in Mobile, Alabama, according to senior director Jim Nagy.
“Scouting is something I really like doing,” Jefferson said on the Ravens’ “Studio 44″ podcast last year. “I see myself scouting even when I’m coaching my son’s [youth] team.”
Jefferson, an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma who signed with the Arizona Cardinals in 2013, spent nine seasons in the NFL. Three of those were with the Ravens, from 2017 to 2019, after Baltimore signed him to a four-year, $34 million deal to replace strong safety Lardarius Webb.
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But Jefferson suffered a torn ACL against the Pittsburgh Steelers in October 2019 and the Ravens released him after the season. After spending 2020 out of football, he signed a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers but played in just two games before being released.
Always a popular and respected player within the Ravens’ organization, Jefferson returned as a member of the practice squad in December 2021 before being promoted to the active roster the following month. He appeared in four games and re-signed that February.
“I’m really proud of Tony,” defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald said last offseason. “He’s had an incredible story.”
But with the Ravens having signed Marcus Williams in free agency and drafted Kyle Hamilton in the first round, Jefferson became the odd man out and was released in August.
He then signed with the New York Giants and played nine games, including one start, but again battled injuries. As free agency approached in March, he told teams he was transitioning from safety to linebacker before eventually deciding to retire.
For his career, Jefferson played in 113 games (67 starts) and recorded 492 tackles, four interceptions, eight forced fumbles and 9 1/2 sacks.
Jefferson is the second former Ravens safety to join the team’s front office after Anthony Levine Sr. retired last offseason and became a player personnel assistant.