The Cardinals are in desperate need of a safety and it appears as if an old friend may be in route to help.
According to Arizona Sport’s John Gambadoro, former Cardinal safety Tony Jefferson is currently working out and visiting the team.
Tony Jefferson is visiting and working out with the Arizona Cardinals.— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) September 28, 2020
The Cardinals are down several starting safeties in their secondary after injuries sustained to Jalen Thompson, Chris Banjo and Budda Baker. Thompson was placed on IR following a week one victory against San Francisco, while Banjo was knocked out of yesterday’s loss to Detroit.
It was reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that Cardinals Pro Bowl safety Budda Baker would have surgery on his injured thumb following Sunday’s game against the Lions. Budda Baker had apparently been dealing with a ligament injury for some time.
All three are expected to miss this week’s game against the Carolina Panthers.
Jefferson was an undrafted free agent in 2013 from the University of Oklahoma. He was with the team from 2013-2016 and remains Steve Keim’s best undrafted signing to date. He was an intregal part of several top defenses during his time with the team. Jefferson’s best season came in 2016 when he earned a 88.6 grade via PFF. That mark would rank fifth among all safeties in football that season.
Following a contract dispute with the team, the Cardinals opted to let Jefferson walk as a free agent in 2017. He would then sign four-year, $34 million with the Baltimore Ravens only to be cut this past February after Jefferson sustained an October ACL tear.
Jefferson had been posting workout videos and mentioned to several reputable media members that he’d be ready to return to action come early October. This morning, prior to the Gambo announcement, Jefferson would post the following:
September 28, 2020
Gambadaro also reported that the Jefferson visit “will happen once he clears Covid Protocols”, which could take up to two days.
The addition of Jefferson could be a savvy one but also made out of desperation. As of now, there is no telling how long both Jalen Thompson or Budda Baker will be out. To date, Arizona has not discussed moving LB Isaiah Simmons to safety, his primary position during his time at Clemson.
We will keep you posted here on Revenge of the Birds should more details become available with this story.