Philadelphia Eagles: Howie Roseman won the Timmy Jernigan trade

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

With the Baltimore Ravens in town for a preseason brawl, let’s take a look back at Philadelphia Eagles’ genius trade for defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan.

There once was a time where Timmy Jernigan wasn’t a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.

No, for the first three seasons of his NFL career, the 48th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft was actually a member of the Baltimore Ravens, where he started 26 games in 43 appearances at defensive end.

And with the Ravens in town for training camp, why not take a look back at that surprisingly lopsided trade that very well could have been the deciding factor in the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory.

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Buckle up folks; this should be fun.

First, some context.

After wrestling back control from Chip Kelly following his long-overdue ousting as the team’s head coach/GM/OC, Howie Roseman and the Eagles transitioned back into their traditional 4-3 defensive front – albeit with a little wide-9 flair from much-touted defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

While many championed the return of the 4-3, it left the Birds’ with a collection of previous starters like Mychal Kendricks, Bennie Logan, and, um, Marcus Smith who were suddenly miscast in Schwartz’s scheme.

2016 was in a lot of ways a transitional year for all parties involved.

With a new GM, a new head coach, and a brand new franchise quarterback in place, it became abundantly clear which players could transition into the new scheme, and which players needed a fresh start elsewhere.

One glaring hole was at defensive tackle.

Sure, the Eagles had arguably the best DT in the league in Fletcher Cox already in place, but to make their four-man rush all the more virile, the team needed a difference-maker who could attack play after player more than a traditional run stuffer like Logan.

Enter Loko Indacut himself, Timmy Jernigan.

Between his burgeoning rap career and a solid three-year tenure on the line for the Florida State Seminoles, Jernigan shuffled in and out of the Ravens’ defensive rotation – always on the cusp of breaking out, but never quite doing so with any consistency.

As he prepared to enter the final year of his rookie campaign, it appeared then-GM Ozzie Newsome prioritized defensive tackles Michael Pearce and Brandon Williams as the team’s long-term stalwarts on the defensive line.

Knowing that a player like Jernigan wouldn’t be all too keen on playing out a lame-duck season while his compatriots got paid, the team opted to trade the then-25-year-old to the Eagles for a third-round pick.

The only catch? They also surrendered a third-round pick to get the deal done.

That’s right, not only did Roseman procure the perfect partner in crime for Cox in the middle of Schwartz’s attacking scheme, but he only had to move down 25 spots int he third round to get said deal done.

Sure, Philly missed out on quality players like Alex Anzalone, Shaquill Griffin, Jourdan Lewis, Kareem Hunt, and future Eagle Daeshon Hall to procure Jernigan’s services, but the team was still able to add Rasul Douglas with the 99th overall pick – a pretty fantastic return for basically nothing.

And from there, well, you know what happened from there: Jernigan started 18 games for the Eagles, including his most important of all in Super Bowl 52, and was a huge reason why the team had arguably the defensive attack in the league.

Needless to say, his 2.5 sacks in 2018 did not tell the full picture.

Next. 3 questions for Eagles during Week 3 preseason battle with Ravens. dark

Now granted, things have taken an ugly turn since the Eagles’ Super Bowl win, as Jernigan spent the vast majority of the 2018 season on IR and was released from his monster four-year, $48 million extension before an incredibly soft free agency period – resulting in a return to Philly on a one-year, $2 million – but for the low, low price of a third-round pick swap, it’s hard not to consider Howie Roseman’s 2016 blockbuster one of the best trades in Philadelphia Eagles’ history.