Eagles Super Bowl Champion Available in NFL Free Agency

Tim Jernigan

Getty Former Eagles DT Tim Jernigan is a free agent once again after his deal fell apart in Houston.

Houston, we have a problem. The Texans’ horrific offseason took another crazy turn last night when Tim Jernigan announced his deal had fallen apart.

Jernigan, a vital part of the Eagles’ Super Bowl championship team, had reportedly agreed to a one-year contract worth up to $3.75 million (plus $1.25 million guaranteed) with Houston on April 1. The 27-year-old was immediately penciled in as the Texans’ starting nose tackle after racking up 41 combined tackles and 4.5 sacks in three seasons in Philadelphia.

It seemed to be a perfect fit. That is, until it wasn’t. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the veteran defensive tackle was once again on the free-agent market following an Instagram post where Jernigan said he expects to play elsewhere in 2020.

“Guess I’m not goin to Houston … but the show not ova,” Jernigan wrote.

According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Jernigan didn’t even take a physical with the Texans. The two sides just agreed to mutually part ways, plain and simple. His Texans career over before it started.

Jernigan was selected in the second round (48th overall) by Baltimore in 2014 before landing in the Eagles’ nest via trade in 2017. He was a productive player during the title run but injuries took a toll. Jernigan started 15 games in his first year in Philly, then saw action in just 13 out of a possible 32 games in the previous two seasons. A foot injury caused him to miss six games in 2019 and the Eagles let him walk in free agency after the season.

“I’ve been through a lot the last two years,” Jernigan told reporters in January, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “I’ve had my highs and lows, I’ve had my times where I didn’t know if I was gonna make it. I went through every emotion, but I made it. That’s definitely a positive to take from the season. I was able to finish this thing the right way.”

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Eagles Depth Chart at Defensive Tackle

There has been some fun speculation about a possible reunion with Jernigan in Philly. The 295-pounder is once again a free agent and a player the Eagles have always liked. He’s also a cheap option, at around $3 million per year.

But the Eagles simply don’t need any more talented defensive tackles. It’s arguably the strongest and deepest position on the depth chart. Fletcher Cox is one of the best in the business as evidenced by his five straight Pro Bowl appearances. The Eagles also inked former Steeler Javon Hargrave in the offseason and made him the highest-paid nose tackle in the NFL.

Behind those two studs are Pro Bowler Malik Jackson and veteran Hassan Ridgeway, another young playmaker that the organization is high on. Philadelphia also has camp bodies like Anthony Rush, Bruce Hector, Albert Huggins as well as undrafted rookie free agent Raequan Williams on the roster.

So while the nostalgia factor on bringing Jernigan back would be fun (see: LeSean McCoy’s current situation), it just doesn’t make sense. They have more pressing needs at other spots, plus they are getting ready to embrace salary cap hell in 2021. Stay the course.

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