Timmy Jernigan

Eagles’ Timmy Jernigan To Miss 4-6 Months

Eagles’ starting defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan underwent surgery on a herniated disc in his back last week, league sources tell Field Yates and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Recovery from that operation will take a while and he is expected to be out for four-to-six months. 

Even in a best case scenario, Jernigan’s availability for the season opener is in jeopardy. If it takes Jernigan closer to six months to recover, he could wind up missing the first half of the season

The good news for the Eagles is that they have a solid Plan B for Jernigan after signing Haloti Ngata this offseason. If Jernigan misses time, the Eagles will still have a formidable front four with Brandon Graham and Michael Bennett at defensive end with Ngata and Fletcher Cox in the middle.

The Eagles acquired Jernigan from the Ravens last April by moving down 25 spots in the third round of the draft. That proved to be a brilliant move for the Eagles, who later signed him to a four-year, $48MM extension.

Meanwhile, the Eagles and Jernigan have agreed to revise that contract, Yates reports (on Twitter). The final three years on the defensive tackle’s contract are now option years with no guaranteed money. The Eagles, he writes, will evaluate his health as part of the decision going forward.

Jernigan remains slated to carry a $5MM cap charge in 2018. He’ll carry cap hits of $13MM, $14MM, and $14MM in the following three seasons if he remains on board.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Rumors: Witten, Cowboys, Eagles

Although Cowboys owner Jerry Jones doesn’t seem ready to admit it, tight end Jason Witten is fully expected to follow through on retirement and become an analyst for ESPN’s Monday Night Football, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link), who called Witten’s shift to the Worldwide Leader a “done deal.” If Witten does indeed hang up his cleats, he could be stuck in a thorny contractual issue with Dallas. The Cowboys converted $4.7MM of Witten’s base salary into a signing bonus earlier this year, but could now ask for that money back, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes. Dallas released quarterback Tony Romo last summer, allowing him to retain all of his bonus money in the process, and it’s fair to wonder if the club will do the same for Witten, who is expected to command a salary of $4-4.5MM at ESPN.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Despite not adding a single defensive back in last weekend’s draft, the Cowboys are not expected to have interest in free agent safeties Eric Reid, Kenny Vaccaro, or Tre Boston, reports Todd Archer of ESPN.com. Dallas did’t have any interest in either of the three veterans pre-draft and doesn’t believe any would fit its defensive scheme. For what’s it worth, the Cowboys reportedly tried to acquire Vaccaro at the 2017 trade deadline. Safeties in general have had a hard time generating buzz this offseason, with one agent telling Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com that defensive backs aren’t getting offers of even “one year, $3MM.” For now, Dallas will likely roll with Xavier Woods and Jeff Heath at safety after moving former first-round pick Byron Jones to cornerback.
  • If the Redskins had released defensive tackle Terrell McClain earlier this year (instead of on Monday), he’d likely already be back on the Cowboys roster, tweets David Moore of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). Dallas picked up former second-round interior defender Jihad Ward from the Raiders in a draft-day exchange that sent wideout Ryan Switzer to Oakland, but they’re still expected to express interest in McClain. The 29-year-old McClain spent the 2014-16 campaigns in Dallas, and was a 15-game starter during his final season with the Cowboys.
  • Eagles defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan recently underwent surgery for a herniated disc, per Howard Eskin of WIP-FM (link via Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer). As such, Jernigan won’t participate in spring workouts but is fully expected to be ready for 2018 regular season. Philadelphia acquired Jernigan from the Ravens last April, sacrificing just a 25-slot drop in the third round in order to land the now-25-year-old. After a productive debut year with the Eagles, Jernigan inked a four-year, $48MM extension that should keep him in town through 2021.

NFC East Notes: Giants, Manning, Eagles

If the Giants use the No. 2 overall pick on a quarterback, that’s just fine with Eli Manning.

Obviously knowing I will be a New York Giant, that helped. Been told that, so that’s a starting point,” Manning said (via Art Stapleton of the Bergen Record). “Now just keep going about my job an learn this offense, obviously got to wait for spring and start back practicing with the team and get everybody up to speed.”

Manning also says that he is willing to help the Giants to mold a rookie quarterback, though he does not view that as his primary task:

Yes, in a sense. I wouldn’t look at it as that role. I would look at it as my job to prepare and compete and be ready to play each and every game and in that process you’re always talking football,” Manning said. “You’re always helping out the guys in the room. With Davis Webb this year, with Geno [Smith], you’re always helping them out. Nothing changes. It’s about doing your job but also helping the other guys around you and having great communication in the quarterback room.”

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • It sounds like the Eagles will have the services of defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan in the Super Bowl, even though he’s missed the last two days with an illness. “Because of the position and he’s one of our veteran guys, I do feel comfortable that he’ll be ready,” Pederson told a pool reporter (Twitter link via Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer). This season, Jernigan ranked as the No. 33 ranked interior defender in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics, making him a quality partner for Fletcher Cox (ranked No. 2) in the middle of the line.
  • Howie Roseman was asked about the Eagles’ decision to block vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas from interviewing for the Texans’ GM job this offseason and offered up a vague explanation. “We were during the season,” Roseman said (via Matt Lombardo of NJ.com). “I think that the way the league rules are, that during the season, it’s not expected that you’d allow people to interview with other teams. That’s the way the rules are written. We’re going to abide by the rules that are written. Joe’s a valuable part of our organization. We love having him in Philadelphia. But, again, during the season we’re going to focus on playing.” Going forward, the Eagles will probably have to give Douglas an elevation in salary and title in order to keep him in the organization.
  • The Cowboys should prioritize a long-term deal for Zack Martin over pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence, Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News opines. The Cowboys need a great edge defender more than another Pro Bowl offensive lineman, but Lawrence’s history of back injuries and struggles prior to 2017 give Sherrington pause about the idea of committing to him for years to come. His suggestion is for the Cowboys to tag him for 2018 and take it from there. Meanwhile, Martin has already shown that he’s among the best in the league at his position across multiple seasons.

Eagles Working On Brandon Graham Extension

The Eagles are working on a new deal for defensive end Brandon Graham, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Graham has racked up six sacks this season — his career-high is 6.5 — and he currently ranks as the fifth-best edge defender in the league (out of 112 qualified players) per Pro Football Focus.

Brandon Graham (vertical)

Graham is still under club control through 2018 as a result of the four-year, $26.5MM deal he inked in 2015, a deal that looks like a bargain now. Despite some rumblings that he would hold out of training camp this summer, he never did so and firmly indicated that he never planned to hold out. Nonetheless, the Eagles did add incentives to his current deal in August and now it seems they are prepared to reward him even more.

Philadelphia, of course, is 9-1 and is on the short list of Super Bowl favorites. The team also has a history of being aggressive in locking up key members of its roster, even late in the season (the Eagles signed Timmy Jernigan to a lucrative multi-year deal several weeks ago).

As La Canfora notes, Graham is something of a late-bloomer, but he has thrived under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and his impact goes far beyond his raw sack totals. He is a key cog in the club’s defensive success, and GM Howie Roseman is ready to pay him accordingly. La Canfora does say that the two sides have a fairly large gap to bridge, but the team’s interest in getting something done soon is genuine.

Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com (Twitter link) says that if Graham and the Eagles can agree to terms, his extension would likely lower his cap hit for 2018 (currently $7.5MM) to free up some space. After all, as Shorr-Parks observes in a separate piece, the cap hits for Jernigan’s new contract are out, and they are significant.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles, Timmy Jernigan Agree To Extension

The Eagles and Timmy Jernigan have agreed to terms on a four-year, $48MM extension, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The new deal will pay the defensive tackle $26MM fully guaranteed and keep him under control through the 2021 season."<strong

Jernigan came to the Eagles via an April trade with the Ravens. All it cost the Eagles was dropping down 25 spots in the third round of the 2017 draft, a deal that seems like a brilliant move in hindsight. Signing Bennie Logan was Philly’s first priority in free agency, but they probably wound up better off with their Plan B.

Playing alongside Fletcher Cox, Jernigan has amassed 17 tackles and 1.5 sacks through nine games. Jernigan also stepped up in a big way while Cox dealt with a calf injury earlier this year. The 25-year-old suffered an ankle injury of his own on Sunday, but he is expected to play in the Eagles’ post-bye contest against Dallas on Nov. 19.

The Eagles are projected to be a little tight on cap space heading into the offseason, but Jernigan was among their top priorities. Many of their top front seven players are now signed through at least 2020, including Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernigan, Vinny Curry, and Derek Barnett.

Last year, Jernigan finished out as the league’s 42nd best interior defensive lineman, according to Pro Football Focus, putting him ahead of names like Ricky Jean-Francois, Corey Peters, and Cullen Jenkins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Eagles, Lions, 49ers, Packers

Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan was “mind-blown” when the Ravens traded him to the Eagles on Tuesday, he told reporters, including Zach Berman of Philly.com. Jernigan didn’t expect to be a long-term fit in Baltimore after it re-signed nose tackle Brandon Williams to a massive contract last month, but he figured he’d remain there in 2017. Now that he’s in Philadelphia, Jernigan is excited to line up next to Fletcher Cox and play in defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz‘s scheme. Schwartz told Jernigan he has “big plans” for the 24-year-old, who set career highs in starts (15) and sacks (five) in 2016. “This is my first time ever being told, ‘Go,’ “ Jernigan said. “I’ll prove my point.”

More from the NFC:

  • The Lions are planning to pursue a contract extension with defensive end Ziggy Ansah, which the 27-year-old would welcome. “OK,” Ansah told Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press. “That would be great.” Ansah is a year away from potentially hitting free agency; in the meantime, he’s slated to earn $12.734MM under his fifth-year option in 2017. Since going fifth overall in the 2013 draft, Ansah has tallied 32 sacks, though he posted a career-low two in 13 games last season.
  • Releasing cornerback Tramaine Brock on Friday is unlikely to significantly affect the 49ers’ draft plans, observes Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com. The team was already cognizant of its need at corner, per Wagoner, who notes that this year’s draft class includes plenty of promising prospects. Arguably the best of the bunch, Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore, visited the 49ers on Wednesday.
  • With Aaron Rodgers firmly entrenched under center, odds are the Packers will trade backup quarterback Brett Hundley over the next year-plus, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Green Bay’s hope is that it will be able to flip Hundley for a pick more valuable than the fifth-rounder it used on him in 2015. Hundley has since attempted 10 passes, all of which came last season, and is entering his penultimate year of team control.
  • The Lions only have two QBs – Matthew Stafford and Jake Rudock – but it’s a “guarantee” they’ll add a third, general manager Bob Quinn informed Kyle Meinke of MLive.com. That won’t necessarily come via the draft, though Quinn did talk last offseason about the importance of regularly collecting youthful signal-callers. “I think it’s really good football business to acquire a young quarterback every year, or every other year,” Quinn said. “There’s such a value in the position, and nowadays in college football, there’s a lot of spread offenses, which means it’s a lot different than pro football. So it takes these young quarterbacks time to develop.”

Eagles Acquire Timmy Jernigan From Ravens

The Eagles have acquired defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan and a third-round pick (No. 99 overall) from the Ravens in exchange for the No. 74 overall pick, which is also in the third round. In essence, the Eagles have dropped down 25 spots in the third round in order to add a starting-caliber defensive lineman. Timmy Jernigan (vertical)

After losing Bennie Logan to the Chiefs in free agency, this trade makes lots of sense for Philly. Jernigan, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal, played in all 16 games last season and managed five sacks. He finished out as the league’s 42nd best interior defensive lineman, according to Pro Football Focus, putting him ahead of names like Ricky Jean-Francois, Corey Peters, and Cullen Jenkins. For what it’s worth, that ranking put him more than 40 spots ahead of Logan.

Recently, when asked about rumors that Jernigan could be traded, Ravens coach John Harbaugh did not deny that the 24-year-old (25 in September) could be moved.

“Everybody is up for trade,” Harbaugh said. “It’s part of the conversation in the NFL.” 

The Ravens recently made Brandon Williams the highest-paid nose tackle in the NFL and they also have Michael PierceCarl Davis, and Willie Henry competing for playing time. From their perspective, keeping Jernigan and re-signing him to a pricey deal after the 2017 season didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

This will allow our young group of defensive lineamn an opportunity to compete and play,” Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said in a statement.

Jernigan will carry a modest cap number of $1.395MM in 2017 before becoming eligible for the open market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Notes: Boldin, Mosley, Jernigan

Although Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said he’d “obviously” be open to signing veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin, he admitted he’ll leave the club’s personnel decisions to general manager Ozzie Newsome, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). Boldin, 36, has already indicated he’ll return for a 15th NFL season, but he may not sign with a club until later this summer. Baltimore may also look to find a receiver via trade, or perhaps pick up a veteran wideout that has recently been cut by another club, says Harbaugh.

Here’s more on the Ravens:

  • Linebacker C.J. Mosley‘s fifth-year option is a mere “formality,” per Harbaugh, as Baltimore wants the former first-round pick “to be a Ravens for many years” (Twitter link via Zrebiec). The non-top-10 pick fifth-year option salary for linebackers in 2017 will be $8.369MM, so the figure could tick towards $9MM in 2019. Mosley, 24, missed two games last year but still racked up 92 tackles and four interceptions, grading as the league’s No. 7 linebacker, per Pro Football Focus.
  • Harbaugh didn’t deny rumors that defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan could be traded, reports Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. “Everybody is up for trade,” Harbaugh said. “It’s part of the conversation in the NFL.” Mike Lombardi of The Ringer recently indicated he’s heard Jernigan’s name pop up in trade discussions. Jernigan, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal, played in all 16 games last season and managed five sacks.
  • While veteran tight end Ben Watson hasn’t yet been cleared to practice, he is ahead of schedule as he recovers from a torn Achilles, per Hensley. Watson, 36, signed a two-year, $7MM contract with Baltimore last spring, but never made it on the field after going down in August. There’s no guarantee Watson makes the Ravens’ final roster, as the club also boasts Dennis Pitta (who recently accepted a paycut), Maxx Williams, Crockett Gillmore, Nick Boyle, and Darren Waller at tight end.
  • Right guard Marshal Yanda underwent offseason shoulder surgery to repair a nagging injury that caused him to miss three games in 2016, according to Hensley. Despite his health issues, the 32-year-old Yanda was spectacular once again last season, as PFF graded him as the NFL’s best guard. He’s signed through the 2019 campaign.

Extra Points: Kaepernick, Butler, Panthers, Ravens

Some assorted notes from around the NFL…

  • Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News believes the Jets haven’t pursued quarterback Colin Kaepernick because he doesn’t fit their offensive system. If the team preferred a backup who can fit their scheme, Mehta believes the Jets would be better re-signing Geno Smith. Ultimately, the writer believes Kaepernick would be a good fit with the Seahawks, but the organization hasn’t expressed any interest in the signal-caller.
  • There has been “momentum” regarding a Malcolm Butler-to-Saints trade, and Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com believes the deal will ultimately happen. The pundit says the Saints and Patriots “are motivated to make it happen,” and it will be a matter of New Orleans meeting New England’s price for the deal to be finalized.
  • The Panthers essentially moved up eight spots when they dealt defensive end Kony Ealy to the Patriots, and general manager Dave Gettleman was perfectly happy with making that move. “It’s a heavy draft and it was an opportunity for us to move up. To you guys, eight spots doesn’t seem like much. But to me, it’s gold,” he said (via Conor Orr of NFL.com). “You’ve got to give up something to get something. You’re not fooling anybody anymore. There’s too much film available. We just wanted to move up and get another second-round pick. I think it gives us more flexibility.”
  • Former NFL executive Mike Lombardi says the Ravens could look to trade defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan. “I think Jernigan is a fabulous player, but they can’t afford to sign him,” Lombardi said (via ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley). The organization recently made Brandon Williams the highest-paid nose tackle in the NFL, and they also have Michael PierceCarl Davis and Willie Henry competing for playing time.

AFC Notes: Folk, Gilbert, Pryor, Ravens

The Jets entered the day with the second-least amount of cap space in the league, but an adjustment to their kicker’s salary will give them some breathing room.

Nick Folk agreed to convert $1.78MM of his $2.5MM base salary into a signing bonus, freeing up more than $1.18MM in cap space, Field Yates of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). This leaves the Jets with just more than $2.17MM worth of space heading into the season; they previously had just $985K, which was ahead of only the Saints’ $465K +, according to OverTheCap.

Folk enters the season with a $1.46MM cap number.

Here is some news from around the AFC, with Week 1 approaching for 30 teams.

  • Justin Gilbert‘s road-rage incident won’t affect his status for Sunday, but the strained hip flexor the second-year Browns cornerback suffered Aug. 18 might, notes Mary Kay Kabot of Cleveland.com.
  • Recently cut from the Browns after initially making the roster out of the preseason, Terrelle Pryor will work out for two teams this week, according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. The former Ohio State and Raiders quarterback will do so as a receiver for both teams, who were not named in the report.
  • Ravens rookie defensive tackle Carl Davis will replace Timmy Jernigan in the starting lineup against the Broncos due to Jernigan’s doubtful status due to a right knee injury, Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com reports. Hensley rates Davis, a third-round pick, as the team’s most impressive rookie thus far.
  • Baltimore has also ruled out Breshad Perriman and Lorenzo Taliaferro, per Hensley.