Chargers have obvious new free-agent target who just came out of retirement

NFL Combine
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There has been a familiar trend that the LA Chargers have followed this offseason. To build the roster and supporting staff around new head coach Jim Harbaugh, the Chargers have leaned into GM Joe Hortiz's previous connections with the Baltimore Ravens.

The Chargers have brought in several former Ravens players and coaches alike. It is clear that the Chargers have valued these connections as Harbaugh and his coaching staff look to speed-run this turnaround and make the Bolts a playoff team in 2024.

Most of the big-name former Ravens are now on other teams and as the spring turns to the summer, NFL activity comes to a screeching halt. That being said, when a former Raven comes out of retirement to play in the league once more, Chargers fans have no other option but to take notice. For that reason, Tony Jefferson now seems like someone who could reasonably be in the powder blue in 2024.

Tony Jefferson makes perfect sense for Chargers after coming out of retirement

Beyond the obvious ties to the Chargers because of his former Ravens days, Jefferson makes perfect schematic sense for the Bolts with how the roster is currently constructed. The Chargers addressed many needs this offseason and have continued to do so as we head into the summer with savvy signings like Bud Dupree; Jefferson could be yet another example.

Safety is one area of the roster that has not received the TLC that it probably should have this offseason. Sure, the team re-signed Alohi Gilman but the depth behind Gilman and star safety Derwin James leaves a lot to be desired. Former third-round pick JT Woods is penciled in as the third safety and that is not a position that the Bolts should willingly put themselves in.

Jefferson is not going to come in and completely revolutionize the Chargers' defense, to suggest that would be silly. However, his versatility and veteran leadership would play perfectly as a third or even fourth safety in this Chargers' defense.

The veteran safety has played under Chargers defensive coordinator Jesse Minter in the past and will have familiartity with the scheme that he looks to implement. At the very least, this provides the Chargers a life raft to throw into the water in case young safeties like Woods or AJ Finley are struggling.

There are still some other enticing safeties on the market that the Chargers could pursue for this very purpose. Former Bronco Justin Simmons is the first name that comes to mind but he may not be willing to take on this depth role that results in less playing time.

If the Chargers are simply looking for someone who can play a handful of defensive snaps, can provide versatility, and has familiarity with the culture the team is creating then Jefferson is the guy for the job.

Plus, Jefferson wouldn't be coming out of his one-year retirement if he did not at least have an inkling that he could find a team for the 2024 season. Perhaps that inkling will lead him directly to Los Angeles.