Tony Jefferson, a former safety for the Baltimore Ravens who recently announced his retirement, is someone the Miami Dolphins should think about bringing in.

The Miami Dolphins are finalizing their 90-man training camp roster, but there’s still time for changes before practice ramps up in late July. The Dolphins are set for a post-June 1 payday of $18.5 million after parting ways with cornerback Xavien Howard and could use that money to bolster the trenches or add depth to a top-heavy secondary.

With this influx of cash, the Dolphins will move from No. 30 to No. 14 in available salary cap space. However, it’s worth noting that the team is already $11 million over the 2025 cap without a franchise quarterback under contract. This financial situation may put top remaining free agents like two-time Pro Bowl safety Justin Simmons out of Miami’s price range.

One potential option could be former Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, and San Francisco 49ers safety Tony Jefferson. He might be a more affordable veteran presence who can provide depth and experience to Miami’s secondary without straining the team’s future financial flexibility.

Tony Jefferson, 32, announced this week that he’s coming out of retirement with hopes of playing in 2024. The former Oklahoma Sooners safety played seven seasons in the NFL before announcing his retirement on May 25, 2023.



Jefferson dealt with a foot injury in 2022 and appeared in six games with the 49ers and Ravens in 2021. He was signed to Baltimore’s practice squad on Dec. 13, 2021, when Dolphins defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver was serving as the defensive line coach and run-game coordinator.

It’s important to note that the last time Jefferson played in more than six games was in 2018. He has battled a torn ACL and didn’t play in 2020 before spending time on a couple of practice squads.

The Dolphins wouldn’t be signing Jefferson for his 91 total tackles in 2016 or six passes defended in 2018, but rather to provide a spark and guidance for a unit that could benefit from his veteran presence.

Jevon Holland and Elijah Campbell (two career starts over the last four seasons) are the team’s only returning safeties from last season. Miami added former Buffalo Bills captain Jordan Poyer, 33, and filled out the remaining roster spots with a promising trio of rookies: Patrick McMorris, Mark Perry, and Jordan Colbert.

Jefferson could be a reliable option if Poyer or Holland are unable to play early in the season. His years of experience and familiarity with the defensive system could also help the newcomers adapt quickly.

“I think a lot of success comes from just the communication part, especially on the back end,” Poyer recently said. “If you want to be successful, you’ve got to know who you’re playing with essentially. You’ve got to know the guys on and off the field.”

Jefferson’s addition could solidify the Dolphins’ secondary, providing leadership and depth as the team prepares for the upcoming season.

The Dolphins have gradually become a destination for experienced players following four straight winning seasons. Players like Jordan Poyer and three-time Pro Bowl receiver Odell Beckham Jr. joined Miami to play meaningful late-season games.

“I want to win a Super Bowl,” Beckham said in his first press conference with the Dolphins. “I still dare to be great. There is a reason that I’m still doing this, still playing. The expectations are still there, but it’s not the end-all be-all for me.”

No team wins the offseason in June—even the NFL Draft doesn’t significantly change a team’s odds for the upcoming year. Jefferson isn’t coming out of retirement to start 16 games, and the Dolphins already have a dynamic safety duo with Holland and Poyer. Still, Jefferson has the short-term potential and long-term experience to improve Miami’s safety group for 2024.

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