By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor
With the 2019 NFL Draft less than eight hours away, Howie Roseman has not forgotten about other ways to improve the Eagles roster.
Yet another Eagles free agent has re-signed with the team as defensive tackle Tim Jernigan has signed on a one-year deal.
The move gives the Eagles incredible line depth once again with Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson, Tim Jernigan and Treyvon Hester at defensive tackle and Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry, Josh Sweat and a possibly returning Chris Long at defensive end all before making a single draft pick.In a masterful move, Howie Roseman acquired Jernigan, who was still on his rookie deal, simply for swapping draft picks and moving down 25 spots in the 2017 draft. The move down is where they landed cornerback Rasul Douglas. Jernigan was brought in to replace Bennie Logan as he departed in free agency.
The Birds benefited greatly from Jernigan’s presence alongside both Fletcher Cox and Beau Allen, allowing the team to use an effective rotation and allow the trio to be better rested and healthier as they got to the playoffs and Super Bowl LII.
The Eagles loved Jernigan’s play as well as his energy and rewarded him with a four-year, $48 million deal. The deal was short lived as a mysterious injury during an offseason workout lead to the final three years of his contract becoming option years for the franchise.
Jernigan essentially missed the entire 2018 season, playing only 45 snaps in the final few weeks of the season. He registered just two tackles and a quarterback hit. That is the fewest among any Eagles defensive lineman with even DaeShon Hall and T.Y. McGill each taking over 50 snaps.
With regards to the pick compensatory pick formula, Jernigan was arguably one of the best free agents the team had left in free agency. The Eagles still need one more of their free agents to sign a qualifying offer in order to get that fourth round pick back for the loss of Jordan Hicks.
2019 Eagles Compensatory Pick Chart
|QB Nick Foles||Jacksonville Jaguars||$22,000,000||3|
|WR Golden Tate||New York Giants||$9,350,000||4|
|G/C Stefen Wisniewski||Unsigned||-||-|
|RB Jay Ajayi||Unsigned||-||-|
|WR Mike Wallace||Unsigned||-||-|
|G Chance Warmack||Unsigned||-||-|
The team had around $15 million in available cap space when accounting for the money that needs to be assigned to signing draft picks. Jernigan was likely unhappy with the offers he received elsewhere, so the Birds should still have a healthy $10 million or so to use should they choose to do so.
Jernigan joins Brandon Graham and Ronald Darby as three high-profile free agents that have now decided to stay in Philadelphia.