Timmy Jernigan

Eagles Activate DT Timmy Jernigan

The Eagles have activated defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan from the NFI (Non-Football Injury) list. To make room, they’ve waived fellow defensive tackle T.Y. McGill

Jernigan has been on the NFIO list since undergoing back surgery in May, but he returned to the practice field earlier this month. After a 48-7 drumming at the hands of the Saints, the Eagles can certainly use the help.

Jernigan, 26, started in 15 games for the Eagles last year plus the entirety of their Super Bowl run. In the regular season, Jernigan notched 29 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, and nine tackles for a loss.

The fifth-year pro will look to keep the 4-6 Eagles in the playoff fight upon his return. He’ll also look to secure his future in Philadelphia. After his operation, the Eagles pushed Jernigan to alter the remaining three years on his four-year, $48MM extension. Those seasons are now team option years with no guaranteed money.

Jernigan’s 2018 debut may come against the Giants on Sunday afternoon. It stands to reason that he will come off the bench in his first game back, offering support to Fletcher Cox and Haloti Ngata.

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Eagles’ Timmy Jernigan Cleared To Practice

Eagles defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan has been cleared to return to practice, the team announced on Monday. Jernigan has been on the non-football injury list since undergoing back surgery in May, but he could be on the cusp of rejoining the team soon. 

The operation cost Jernigan the first half of the season and could also prove to be costly from a financial perspective. After the surgery, the Eagles pushed Jernigan to alter the remaining three years on his four-year, $48MM extension. Those seasons are now team option years with no guaranteed money, so Jernigan will have ample motivation when/if he returns to the field this year.

The Eagles boast one of the deepest defensive line units in the league and have held up well even without Jernigan on the field. They rank second in Football Outsiders‘ adjusted line yards and 14th in adjusted sack rate.

Despite the D-Line’s success, the Eagles have some critical games on the horizon, including a Nov. 18 date against Drew Brees and the Saints. They’re hoping to get Jernigan back on the field as soon as possible as they chase the Redskins for the NFC East crown.

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Eagles Non-Committal On Timmy Jernigan’s Status

Eagles defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan is currently on the non-football injury list after undergoing back surgery in May, and Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson was non-committal on Jernigan’s status when speaking with reporters earlier today.

“He’s doing well, he’s making progress,” Pederson said, via Mike Kaye of NJ.com. “He’s a guy we’ll just continue to monitor. I don’t want to put a cap on him, don’t want to limit him anyway and any other expectation other than him getting better and healthy at this time.”

While that’s a seemingly innocuous quote, Pederson failed to commit to Jernigan returning this season, according to Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). Per the NFL’s NFI rules, Jernigan must sit out for the Eagles’ first six games of the season. After that, Philadelphia will get a three-week window to decide whether Jernigan can return to practice, and another three-week window to activate him once he practices.

Jernigan was originally given a four-to-six month recovery timeline after having surgery, and he’s now entering the fifth month since that estimate. The operation affected Jernigan’s bottom line, as he agreed to a revised contract after undergoing the procedure. Jernigan had three years left on the four-year, $48MM extension he signed in 2017, but those seasons are now team option years with no guaranteed money.

With Jernigan sidelined, the Eagles have deployed Haloti Ngata (45% playtime) and Destiny Vaeao (32%) at defensive tackle alongside Fletcher Cox. The unit has held up well, ranking first in Football Outsiders‘ adjusted line yards and 13th in adjusted sack rate.

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Eagles Cut Down To 53

The Eagles’ receiving corps became a bit younger on Saturday. Two veterans brought in as possible depth pieces — Markus Wheaton and Kamar Aiken — were informed they will be released.

So was potential secondary cog De’Vante Bausby and rookie UDFA running back Josh Adams, given one of this year’s largest guarantees among the undrafted contingent. Philadelphia also placed safety Chris Maragos on its Reserve/PUP list, shelving him for at least six weeks.

Here are the players the Eagles will not be including on their initial 2018 53-man roster:

Released:

Waived:

Waived with an injury designation:

Placed on Reserve/NFI list:

Placed on Reserve/PUP list

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”