Chargers continue Ravens copycat with surprising fan favorite

The Chargers' fetish for the Ravens knows no bounds
NFL Combine
NFL Combine / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

After years of meritorious service to the Baltimore Ravens, injuries seemed to have taken their toll on playmaking safety Tony Jefferson. After ill-fated stints with the 49ers and Giants, Jefferson retired from football and set up his post-playing days with a position in Baltimore's front office.

Jefferson needed to scratch his competitive itch, however, as he unretired with the goal of giving it one last shot in the pros. The Ravens seemed uninterested in bringing him back despite his beloved nature in the locker room, leaving an opening for another AFC team to swoop in.

The Los Angeles Chargers, coached by John Harbaugh's brother Jim and Greg Roman (in addition to being overseen by former Baltimore executive Joe Horitz), have been trying to fill the roster with as many former Ravens as possible. Jefferson hasn't played in quite a while, but the Chargers don't seem to concerned by that fact.

After trying out for the Bolts in minicamp, the Chargers have officially agreed to terms with Jefferson on a contract that will see him try to push Harbaugh to the postseason in his inaugural Los Angeles campaign. Copying the Ravens is fine in principle, but the sheer number of former Ravens coming to town is getting silly.

Ex-Baltimore Ravens safety Tony Jefferson signing with Chargers

Jefferson joins JK Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Hayden Hurst, and Bradley Bozeman as just a few of the former Ravens who decided to get the band back together in Los Angeles. Jefferson will not be tasked with being a cornerstone starter like many of those other players, as he will likely be a backup to Derwin James and Alohi Gilman.

While Jefferson spent his first four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, most of his fondest football memories are with the Ravens. Jefferson tallied two interceptions, 174 tackles, and 4.5 sacks in his four seasons in Baltimore, making big play after big play in the clutch.

Injuries have been so catastrophic to Jefferson that he has only suited up in 20 games since the start of the 2019 season. His form was also not anywhere close to what it was during his best days with Baltimore. Simply put, the Chargers are buying a lottery ticket on a player with some familiarity.

While Jefferson may not be a starter anymore, he will bring energy and veteran leadership to a team that could use more of that in spades. Ravens fans will likely be rooting for him to recapture his glory days in his new digs, as long as it doesn't impact Baltimore's playoff hopes.