Philadelphia Eagles: Timmy Jernigan could play himself right out of Philly

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

After taking a major pay cut earlier this year, a win-now Timmy Jernigan could play his way right out of a Philadelphia Eagles jersey into a huge new deal.

The Philadelphia Eagles have a minor dilemma on their defensive line.

On one hand, the team’s defensive tackle trio is 100 percent better off with Malik Jackson slotting in to replace a now-retired Haloti Ngata, but at the same time, they now have a trio of starting-caliber interior rushers who would all like to play 70 percent of the snaps.

No matter who ‘wins’ out next to Fletcher Cox, the Eagles will have one player who isn’t particularly happy with their role and based on how both Timmy Jernigan and Jackson have dealt with perceived slights last season (check that out here and here), neither outcome isn’t particularly preferable for Howie Roseman and company.

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Now on paper, the job really should be Jackson’s to lose, as the team simply has much more invested in their $30 million man, but as fans in the 215 saw on the Eagles’ 2017 Super Bowl run, when Jernigan is firing on all cylinders, there isn’t a better partner to pair with Cox in the trenches.

And after losing out on an eight-figure payday, there isn’t a player with more to lose in 2019 than Jernigan.

But on the flip side, if he comes in lean, mean, hungry and plays too well, the Eagles may find themselves with a completely different dilemma on their hands: Timmy Jernigan may become too expensive to retain.

After playing only nine games in a midnight green uniform, the Eagles saw enough to extend Jernigan long-term to the tune of $48 million over four years. While he’s obviously hurt his personal market after an offseason back injury, interior pass rushers are one of the hottest commodities in the league, and teams will continue to pay good ones even if they’re… interesting people.

I mean Ndamukong Suh just signed a $9.25 million deal at the tender age of 32, and he’s one of the most challenging personalities in all of football.

With experience playing both defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme, and defensive end in a 3-4 scheme, Jernigan could conceivably start on any team in the NFL.

If he can prove once and for all that his healthy and effort issues are behind him, Jernigan could challenge Cox for the most sacks on the Eagles’ 2019 defensive tackle rotation and return to the ranks of the highest-paid players at his position in the league.

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While it would be bittersweet to build ‘Stud Muffin‘ back up only to watch him leave for the greener pastures of another team, if we collectively look at Timmy Jernigan’s 2019 campaign as a one-year rental, the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive line could reap some serious benefits from a 27-year-old tackle with a huge chip on his shoulder.