According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, The Eagles' defensive tackle Tim Jernigan is expected to miss four to six months after undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back last week.
Eagles’ starting DT Timmy Jernigan underwent surgery on a herniated disc in his back last week and is expected to be out four-to-six months, league sources tell @FieldYates and me.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 3, 2018
Since Jernigan suffered the injury during an offseason workout in March, the Eagles could have very well refused to pay the four year, $48 million extension he signed after being acquired by the Ravens, but the team will instead restructure his contract, according to ESPN's Field Yates.
Another layer to this story: the Eagles and Jernigan have agreed to a reworked contract, in which the final three years of Jernigan’s deal are now option years with no guaranteed money. Philly will evaluate his health as part of the decision going forward. https://t.co/D4WaXnFW7M— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 3, 2018
The final three years of Jernigan's contract are now option years with no guaranteed money. He's still scheduled to make $11 million in 2019, $12 million in 2020, and $12 million in 2021.
The move allows the Eagles to be cautious of the cap space, as well as weary on Jernigan's long-term health to make sure they won't be in a bad position if the defensive tackle will be unable to play due to the back injury or any other ailment.
Jernigan had a breakout season in 2017 for the Eagles, who added to a defensive line that helped the Eagles win their first Super Bowl championship. He finished with 29 tackles and 2.5 sacks for the Birds last season.
The Eagles are hoping he'll be ready for Week 1 vs. the Atlanta Falcons at Lincoln Financial Field, but they are in a good position on the D-Line thanks to the key acquisitions of Michael Bennett, Haloti Ngata, and Josh Sweat in the offseason.