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Former Cardinals, Ravens safety Tony Jefferson retiring after 10 years, moving into scouting

After rising from an undrafted free agent to a 10-year veteran, safety Tony Jefferson is calling it a career.

Jefferson, who played for the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants, is retiring and taking a position with the Ravens as part of the Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellowship.

The 31-year-old Jefferson is capping an impressive underdog story as a UDFA out of Oklahoma who signed with the Cardinals in 2013 and worked his way into becoming a starter.

Over nine seasons, most notably four with the Cards from 2013-2016 and parts of four with the Ravens between 2017-2021, Jefferson played in 113 games with 67 starts, 492 tackles, 24 passes defensed, 9.5 sacks and four interceptions.

After posting a career-high 96 tackles in 14 starts for the Cardinals in 2016, Jefferson signed with the Ravens as a free agent in 2017. A locker room favorite of teammates, Jefferson became a staple in the starting lineup until a torn ACL in 2019 cut his season short after five games and truly spelled the end of his career. He did not play in 2020, and in 2021 split time with the Ravens and 49ers. His final season saw him participate in nine games for the Giants, including one start, tallying 23 tackles along the way. He saw limited action in each of New York's postseason games last season, playing his final career snaps in the Giants' NFC Divisional Round loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

He'll now take off his helmet and put on his scouting hat.

Jefferson had previously stated his aspirations to become a scout, per the Ravens' website, and now he'll get his shot, beginning as a Baltimore intern after his decade as an NFL player has come to its close.

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