Tony Jefferson left his heart in Baltimore, but his chance was with the Giants

Tony Jefferson knew the result. He knew he had become a spare part with Baltimore Ravens.

  • The Ravens let him go after the 2019 season, and brought him back for the second half of the 2021 season after San Francisco 49ers let him go.
  • The Ravens drafted safety Kyle Hamilton number 14 overall and signed safety veteran Marcus Williams to a five-year, $70 million contract.
  • Chuck Clark, a newbie to Baltimore’s free security software since 2019, wasn’t going anywhere.

As they say, there was no place in the hostel.

They drafted Salameh in the first round. They paid $70 million for the other safety. Chuck Clark was part of the defense. “They wanted me back on the coaching staff and be there for the insurance,” Jefferson said.

So, in his ninth season in the NFL, Jefferson faced a choice. Rehearse for a band for a franchise he loves, or cut the rope and take chances. The 30-year-old cut the rope.

“I have to be honest, this family is there (Baltimore), from the front office to the players, everyone. It was very difficult for me to make that decision,” Jefferson said earlier this week in the Giants locker room. always there. So that was difficult for me. But to be able to come here now, everyone is very open and welcome here. Lots of guys who said they saw me when they were in college. It makes me feel old. I’ve had a good week, I guess, so far since I’ve been here.”

Jefferson also joined the team where his former Baltimore defensive coordinator, Wink Martindale, now heads the defense.

Jefferson said he took the opportunity “immediately” to join Martindale when he found out the Giants were interested.

“I mean, I’ve been with Wink since 2017. We had the chance to be the number one defense in 2018. I had the mic, and the headphone in 2019. So, between him and me, we have a very good relationship. Not just on the football field, But off the field. He’s my kind of guy. “We kind of have the same thought process when it comes to being on the court and what kind of players he likes,” Jefferson said. “I think when I was making that decision, I knew that going somewhere where I knew that The system is like the back of my hand that will help me get what I want, which is to play football.”

Taking in the city

It might sound kind of cool after nine years in the league with the Ravens, 49ers and Arizona Cardinalsbut Jefferson said the last time he played at MetLife Stadium was in 2014. When he arrived, he said he knew nothing of the New York and New Jersey area.

“I was so expansive. I didn’t really get the chance… I played at MetLife in 2014, but I can’t remember much about all of that. And I really didn’t do anything… It (NYC) is just historical.”

When he hasn’t reconnected with Martindale and learned his new team, Jefferson does what newcomers do—and he’s mindful.

“I went into town and really became a tourist. There’s a shopping mall here in Jersey. This is Jersey, right? American Dream,” Jefferson said. “My kids (7 year old son Tony Jefferson III and 2 year old twin daughters Alaia Lysette and Gayla Marie) will love it,” Jefferson said. This mall. There is a water park there. Legoland. “

Jefferson signed with the Giants on September 1, and has said his time so far has been “fantastic.”

“I have to wear New York Giants Helmet. “Look at that,” said Jefferson, placing his appreciative hand on the helmet of the giants hanging in his closet. This is a good looking helmet. So I’m just excited. It’s all about playing, but I just want to go out there and put my best foot forward and be me.

“Just being in this facility – you look at the walls and you see all the historic players in the franchise. It’s surreal to me. In fact, I never thought I’d be here.”

Where does it fit?

Jefferson joined the Giants with budding star Xavier McKinney and first-time captain Julian Love as rookies. With Dane Belton selected in the fourth round as – hopefully – a piece of the future. Also, however, a team that needs veteran depth in high school.

Jefferson is part of the Giants Training Team. Given that Pelton (clavicle) is unlikely to play on Sunday and Jefferson will know the defense much better than reserve safety Jason Pinnock, a recent waiver request, it seems like a good guess that Jefferson could be one of the Giants’ coaching teams. The heights for Sunday’s match against Tennessee Titans. Next, could there be a place on the list of 53 men too late?

I hope so, said Jefferson.

Jefferson was Baltimore Martindale’s defensive caller in 2019 before he got injured. He has clear leadership qualities. However, he doesn’t plan to push himself or his views on how to do things on anyone.

“I think for the most part, being a new guy, I kind of want to fit in here first. I want to adapt to their culture. I just bring my personality and who I am to the table and add to that. I have a lot to prove,” Jefferson said. “I as a new guy would never want to go in and do it and do it. I just kind of want to adapt to the culture here and be a listener for the most part, and then like I said, just bring my character where it fits.”

Despite this, Jefferson knows it can be a McKinney soundboard. Since then, of course, he’s walked in the shoes that McKinney now occupies.

“He’s going to be great. I can only tell by his demeanor. He’s already leaned against me a few times, even asking questions about having a headphone mic. What were some tough things going on while playing,” Jefferson said. What I have (ten) to see rather than what I have to hear is everything everyone talks about. I’m very excited about his growth.”

Jefferson seems passionate about everything when it comes to being a giant.