It wasn't the off season Tony Jefferson expected it to be, quite frankly no one expected Tony Jefferson to get no sniffs in free agency. Yet the shunning from the NFL isn't a new one, as Jefferson has been proving people wrong since he went undrafted out of Oklahoma.
Jefferson had a lot of fans in the internet draft community when he came out of Oklahoma. He seemed to be an almost universal top 100 player in the draft, but when he fell to day three, there was a quiet understanding.
Jefferson didn't test or measure like the NFL wants, which made his actual game film less important than it should have been. Yet, on day three Jefferson continued to get passed by.
After the draft he was able to find the right spot though in Arizona, but he always had an uphill battle, no matter how well he seemed to play.
It became obvious that Jefferson was more than an undrafted camp body, he has real NFL ability, even if he relies on his football instincts to make up for his "lack of athleticism".
Yet the plays he made didn't matter, his continued ability to be a box safety that can play in coverage, as long as it's not covering tight ends, didn't matter. The Cardinals let him test restricted free agency, placing the lowest tender on him possible, and yet, no one in the NFL bit.
The Cardinals brought him back into the fold despite signing Tyvon Branch and drafting Marquis Christian.
Yet, when you look at roster predictions, at what people around the team think, it is Jefferson who is pegged as the starting safety along with Tyrann Mathieu.
That's simply because you know what you get with Tony Jefferson. You can trust him to make the plays he should make and every once in a while he'll make a spectacular play. He's a steadying presence in a fairly question mark filled secondary.
Maybe after this season, Tony Jefferson will get the recognition he deserves, but more importantly for Tony, maybe he'll get the payday he has been working for and in my opinion, earned.