Over the past few years, the Arizona Cardinals have had a solid secondary. With guys like Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, and DJ Swearinger, it’s no surprise that this group ranks highly in the league. One player that has been the glue to this corps might be heading to a new team.
Tony Jefferson has been a solid safety over the past couple of years. With Arizona’s attention solely on DE Chandler Jones, reports have surfaced that Jefferson will look a new direction.
Here are five teams that Tony Jefferson could be playing for in 2017.
2016 wasn’t kind to the Panthers and their secondary. After losing CB Josh Norman in free agency, Carolina ended the season ranked 29th in pass defense. The whole secondary needs to be revamped.
Enter Tony Jefferson. This three-year player would be an instant upgrade. Adding Jefferson could allow Carolina to go a different direction in the draft.
AFC Championship Game. Say those three words to a Steelers fan and they will know what I’m talking about. Tom Brady and the eventual Super Bowl winning Patriots carved up the Steelers defense in the AFC Championship game.
Pittsburgh did a good job last year in the draft by selecting Artie Burns. Outside of that, not too much to like.
Jefferson would give this corps a security blanket. His skill would allow corners to become more aggressive.
San Diego Chargers
Much went wrong with the Chargers and their 2016 season. The team finished 5-11 and secured its second straight top 10 pick in the NFL Draft.
San Diego ranked 20th in pass defense last season. It was evident they missed their leader and security blanket in the secondary, Eric Weddle who left via free agency last year.
Jefferson would instantly bring this secondary back to life and also bring a leader to this locker room. With Jefferson playing along with like Jason Verrett and Brandon Flowers, San Diego could instantly jolt to the top 10 in terms of passing defense.
Good defensive line? Check! Good Linebackers? Check! Good secondary? *cough cough*. The Titans defense was able to get pressure on opposing QBs all season long. Unfortunately, if the QB had time in the pocket, they were able to torch their secondary.
Tennessee ranked 30th in the league in pass defense and 20th in interceptions forced. Many mock drafts have the Titans selecting a CB and a Safety with their two picks in the first round. Unfortunately for Tennessee, they have other needs than a secondary.
Jefferson immediately makes this group better. He’s versatile and allows Tennessee to tackle other needs like receiver.
Will the Redskins make another free agency splash for their secondary in consecutive years? Last year, Washington was able to sign Josh Norman. The former Panther was the only positive sighting in the secondary.
With injuries mounting up against most of the Washington DBs, especially safety Deangelo Hall, Washington can use Jefferson in the worst way. Adding Jefferson to the same side Norman is on, instantly shuts down one side of the field.