BY: ED COLE
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Tony Jefferson’s been off since the NFC Championship Game, but he really hasn’t been off. Outside of his workouts, Jefferson was busy contemplating his future, and if it would have the Arizona Cardinals in it, which, for all parties involved, is a good thing.
“It was crazy, but (I’m) stoked to be back,” Jefferson said. “Who doesn’t want to be back here, (with) another shot to win a ring?”
Jefferson signed his one-year, $1,671,000 qualifying offer earlier this week, and was with his teammates at the strength and conditioning program, as the Cardinals were finally back to work.
Jefferson’s return nearly didn’t happen. Jefferson said he got offers from a few other teams, and they were intriguing, but for him, home – being the Arizona Cardinals – is where his heart was during the entire process.
“Of course,” Jefferson said of the Cardinals being his No. 1 priority. “I (knew) I had a deal here, so it’s not like I was desperate for (a team) somewhere (else). You don’t want to lock yourself up in a deal somewhere where you don’t like the salary, or you can be back. I’m glad to be back here.”
“I came close with a few teams,” Jefferson said. “We really didn’t put stuff out there (on social media and other outlets), but we came close with a few teams. At the same time, I’m stoked to be back here.”
Jefferson’s been working on a new look – “a dread process” – as he says, that he hopes will help him return and ball out like he did last year, when he ended up with the third-most tackles on the defense (75), to go along with his two interceptions (one returned for touchdown), five passes defensed, three forced fumbles, four tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks.
“Right now, it (dreads) may not look that lovely, but give me a couple years or so, (and) we’ll be alright,” Jefferson said.
“I just gotta keep balling,” Jefferson said. “Teams were interested, so I know that. I just gotta keep doing what I’m doing, and get on the field as much as possible.”