Former Cardinals starting safety is back in the NFC West

(Photo by Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports) Tony Jefferson
(Photo by Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports) Tony Jefferson /

Former Arizona Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson has agreed to a deal with the San Francisco 49ers.

In Week 5 of the upcoming 2021 season, the Arizona Cardinals will take on the rival San Francisco 49ers in what could be a matchup that has a significant impact on how the NFC playoff standings shake out.

The Cardinals will be out for revenge after the 49ers left State Farm Stadium in Week 16 of last season with an upset victory. That loss to San Francisco ended up preventing Arizona from earning their first spot in the postseason since 2015.

On Monday, the Cardinals found out that when they take the field for this important divisional matchup in October, there will be a familiar face on the 49ers’ sideline.

Former Arizona Cardinals safety, Tony Jefferson, will suit up for the San Francisco 49ers in 2021.

In 2013, Arizona decided to give undrafted safety Tony Jefferson a shot. Jefferson had a solid college career at Oklahoma and it was a bit of a surprise when no team ended up selecting him in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Jefferson wound up remaining with the Cardinals for four seasons, which included 31 games with him in the team’s starting lineup.

Well, after a three-year stint with the Baltimore Ravens, the former Arizona safety is returning to the NFC West as a member of San Francisco.

The 49ers announced on Monday that they have signed Jefferson to a one-year deal. San Francisco is giving the veteran safety a chance to get back on the field for the first time since Week 5 of the 2019 season when he tore his ACL.

Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt are expected to open the 2021 campaign as the 49ers’ starting safeties. So it seems like San Francisco is adding the experienced Jefferson to improve their depth at the safety position.

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Despite landing with a team that likely isn’t going to give him the opportunity to be a starter next season, Jefferson’s return to the league after his ACL injury in 2019 is still something he should be proud of.