Timmy Jernigan won’t be returning to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020. The free agent defensive tackle has agreed to terms with the Houston Texans, according to FOX 26 sports director Mark Berman. The one-year contract is worth up to $3.75 million, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport.
Jernigan leaving Philly is hardly a surprise. Here’s what we wrote about his outlook earlier this year:
Review: The Eagles re-signed Jernigan to a one-year ‘prove it’ deal after originally cutting him last offseason. He entered the season as the team’s third defensive tackle but Jackson’s injury immediately forced him into a bigger role. Then Jernigan suffered a multi-week foot injury in Week 2 before returning in Week 9. He had a couple good games (Miami Dolphins in Week 13, New York Giants in Week 17) but was otherwise kept quiet.
Outlook: There are concerns about Jernigan’s durability. He’s played just 15.5% of the team’s defensive snaps over the past two seasons after nearly suffering a career-ending injury during the 2018 offseason. Between injury issues and a lack of production, it’s gonna be a go from me. And that’s a bummer because Jernigan seems like a fun personality to have around on the team.
Jernigan’s departure was even more apparent with the Eagles signing Javon Hargrave to a three-year, $39 million contract. Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson, and Hargave make up three of the NFL’s top nine 4-3 defensive tackle annual salaries. The Eagles also re-signed Hassan Ridgeway to compete for a fourth spot behind that trio.
The Eagles originally acquired Jernigan in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens during the 2017 offseason. He was pretty good for the first half of the 2017 season and the team rewarded him with a long-term contract extension during the bye week. Jernigan was quieter in the second half of 2017 and then nearly suffered a career-ending injury during the 2018 offseason. He’s failed to reach his early 2017 form ever since. Maybe he’ll bounce back in Houston but it’s very possible his best days are behind him.
Jernigan joins Malcolm Jenkins, Nigel Bradham, Ronald Darby, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nelson Agholor, and potentially others as members of the Super Bowl LII team to leave Philly this offseason. The Eagles are turning the page on that era.
It remains to be seen if Jernigan’s contract will qualify towards the Eagles’ compensatory pick formula. Jernigan might count for a seventh (like Grugier-Hill) depending on the exact terms of his deal. Here’s how the projection currently stands, via Over The Cap:
List of Eagles 2020 free agents
CB Ronald Darby - Signs 1-year, $4 million contract with Washington
CB Jalen Mills - Re-signs 1-year, $5 million contract with the Eagles
LT Jason Peters
S Rodney McLeod - Re-signs 2-year, $12 million contract with the Eagles
WR Nelson Agholor - Signs 1-year, $1 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders
DE Vinny Curry
RB Jordan Howard - Signs 2-year, $10 million contract with the Miami Dolphins
OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai - Signs 5-year, $50 million contract with the Detroit Lions
LB Kamu Grugier-Hill - Signs 1-year contract with the Miami Dolphins
QB Nate Sudfeld - Re-signs 1-year, $2 million contract with the Eagles
QB Josh McCown
DT Timmy Jernigan - Signs 1-year, $3.25 million contract with the Texans
TE Richard Rodgers - Signs 1-year contract with Washington
DT Hassan Ridgeway - Re-signs 1-year contract with the Eagles
RB Corey Clement
P Cameron Johnston (ERFA) - Tendered