Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson has yet to sign his restricted free agent tender.
Tony Jefferson has never hid the chip on his shoulder.
It was pretty easy to see from the day the safety showed up in Arizona as an undrafted rookie in 2013. It's fueled him every step, and while there isn't a player in the Cardinals locker room that has more fun or is more willing to joke, it'd be a mistake to miss the serious drive Jefferson has to continually prove himself and to get the respect he feels he has earned.
So, as the restricted free agent waits out the increasingly unlikely scenario that he will receive an offer sheet from another team -- the Cardinals tendered him the "low" $1.67 million offer earlier this month, meaning they have a chance to match any offer another team might extend -- Jefferson preps for the 2016 season.
The deadline to sign another team's offer sheet is April 22, so Jefferson's 2016 address will be determined before the draft. He will likely be a Cardinal, and as it stands, will be headed to unrestricted free agency after the season. Yet another reason to have the chip firmly in place. Perhaps it wasn't surprising to see Jefferson's Twitter monologue Tuesday.
There b days durin workouts where I be damn near in tears cuz I want 2 b great.Ppl ask me "why u grind so hard T "Cuz they said I couldn't — Tony Jefferson (@tonyjefferson1) March 29, 2016
Nah I don't post workouts on social media.. I feel If you really puttin in that work you gon have other people postin YOU workin out. — Tony Jefferson (@tonyjefferson1) March 29, 2016
There be times where I can't sleep at night because my chip on my shoulder be talkin to me making me feel guilty for trying to sleep No lie — Tony Jefferson (@tonyjefferson1) March 29, 2016
I'm 24 on year 4, according to undrafted stats I wasn't suppose to make it to year 1.I've done nothing but produce when I step on the grass — Tony Jefferson (@tonyjefferson1) March 29, 2016
Stats don't lie last two years I been getting 70% of snaps & still putting up starter numbers. I need that other 30% watch me work.. Plz — Tony Jefferson (@tonyjefferson1) March 29, 2016
That's my why..Yeah I got to provide for my family yeah all that , but my real why is because they said I couldn't & I need that other 30% — Tony Jefferson (@tonyjefferson1) March 29, 2016
Yeah Ima jokester, yeah ima clown .. But straight up I done been through some stuff dawg. Some stuff most can't handle. So let me smile! — Tony Jefferson (@tonyjefferson1) March 29, 2016
Everybody grind is different and everybody has their own why. But as long as YOU believe in YOU you gon be straight I promise! — Tony Jefferson (@tonyjefferson1) March 29, 2016
With Rashad Johnson's exit and the possibility Jerraud Powers might not be back, the secondary will have a different look in 2016. How it all comes together -- and in this case, how Jefferson might be used going forward -- will be something to watch this season, assuming he returns.