Chargers continue hoarding former Ravens, sign Tony Jefferson out of retirement

Tennessee Titans v Baltimore Ravens
Tennessee Titans v Baltimore Ravens / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

The LA Chargers have made a habit out of bringing in former Baltimore Ravens since the team hired Joe Hortiz as the general manager. Coming from the Ravens front office, Hortiz has trusted people he is familiar with (coaches and players alike) as the team starts a new era under Jim Harbaugh.

It seemed like the Bolts were done signing former Ravens players with OTAs and mandatory minicamp in the rearview mirror. That is not the case at all, though, as the team is signing yet another former Raven to the roster.

According to NFL insider Jordan Schultz, the Chargers are signing veteran safety Tony Jefferson to a one-year deal. Jefferson recently came out of retirement after not playing in the 2022 season and worked out with the Chargers earlier this week. The former Raven impressed the team enough that he will now compete for a roster spot in training camp.

Chargers sign Tony Jefferson, who may play an important role at safety in 2024

Safety was an area of need the Chargers did not address after re-signing Alohi Gilman. While the starting duo of Gilman and Derwin James certainly suffices, the team has questionable depth behind that duo that could expose the secondary.

Injuries are inevitable in the NFL and if one of the starting safeties got hurt the team would have to rely on J.T. Woods, who has not proven to be an NFL-caliber safety thus far in his career. There is also the added wrinkle of James moving around the defense and playing different positions in different situations. That third safety may end up getting a lot of playing time as a result.

Jefferson is a veteran presence who at least has a baseline familiarity with Jesse Minter and his defensive scheme. He is also still extremely plugged into the game and Hortiz himself as he served as a scout for the Ravens last season.

Whether or not he will be up to speed after taking a year off remains to be seen. Assuming Jefferson is going to come into the fold and be great after taking a year off might be a big leap. However, he obviously did enough to convince the Chargers to give him a chance to earn a full-time roster spot later this summer.

This is the perfect example of a high-upside flier that can only help the Chargers. If Jefferson works out then it will look like a genius move by Hortiz and Co. If not, there isn't anything at stake to make this a bad move for the Bolts.