Ravens safety Tony Jefferson had his 2019 season cut short in October with an ACL tear. Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens will release safety Tony Jefferson, according to a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (tweet).  Jefferson was set to count for almost $12M against the cap in 2020. Instead, the Ravens will erase a big chunk of it by cutting him. 

After making a name for himself with the Cardinals, Jefferson signed a four-year, $34M deal with the Ravens in 2017. Since then, he has started in all of his games for the Ravens over the past three seasons before seeing this past season cut short in October with an ACL tear.

The move does not come as a surprise — Jefferson only played in five games last season and was gone for most of the Ravens’ incredible 12-game win streak. Earlier this month, the Ravens extended safety Chuck Clark, adding $15M and three years to his last remaining contract year. Clark and Earl Thomas will start at safety for Baltimore in 2020.

After dropping Jefferson, the Ravens will have an additional $7M as they head into the offseason. They’ll still be on the hook for $4.7M in dead money, but that’s preferable to paying $12M for a backup.

The Ravens appear poised to contend again in 2020, but they will have some key issues to address this offseason. The to-do list includes the status of Pro Bowl outside linebacker Matt Judon, who could be tagged and traded. They will also look to extend left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who helped QB Lamar Jackson capture the MVP trophy.

After making a name for himself with the Cardinals, Jefferson signed a four-year, $34MM deal with the Ravens in 2017. Since then, he’s started in all of his games for the Ravens over the last three seasons. Last year, he saw his season cut short by an October ACL tear.

The move does not come as a surprise – Jefferson only played in five games last year and he was gone for most of the Ravens’ incredible 12-game win streak. Earlier this month, they extended fellow safety Chuck Clark, adding $15MM+ and three years to his last remaining contract year. Clark and Earl Thomas will start at safety for Baltimore in 2020 while Jefferson moves on to a new team.

After dropping Jefferson, the Ravens will have an additional $7MM as they head into the offseason. They’ll still be on the hook for $4.7MM in dead money, but that’s preferable to paying ~$12MM for a backup.

This article first appeared on Pro Football Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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