The Philadelphia Eagles re-signed defensive tackle Tim Jernigan to a one-year contract, according to an official announcement from the team. It remains to be seen how much the deal is worth.
The Eagles predictably declined to pick up Jernigan’s 2019 option earlier this offseason. He seemingly failed to receive strong interest in free agency, which isn’t surprising:
It’s possible the Eagles could bring back Jernigan at a discounted rate. It’s hard to imagine Jernigan will have a robust market given that he barely played in 2018 after suffering a back injury that could’ve been career-ending. The fact that the 2019 NFL Draft is loaded with interior defensive line talent also works against Jernigan’s favor.
The Eagles originally envisioned Jernigan as a key contributor to their defense after they traded for him in 2017 and signed him to a multi-year contract extension. Expectations changed when Jernigan suffered a potential career-ending back injury during the 2018 offseason. Jernigan began the 2018 season on the reserve/non-football injury list and wasn’t activated to the 53-man roster until Week 12. He only played 45 snaps after returning to the field.
It’s unclear how much the Eagles are counting on Jernigan to contribute in 2019. When healthy, he has the potential to be a pretty good player. But to what extent can he be counted on?
Jernigan figures to be receive rotational playing at the defensive tackle position behind projected starters Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson. That has the potential to be a pretty good group. Playoff hero Treyvon Hester is also in the mix for a backup spot.
The Eagles might not be done adding to their defensive line, either. Bringing Jernigan back on a one-year deal hardly precludes Philadelphia from selecting a defensive tackle as early as the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Welcome back, Timmy.
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