Eagles

Eagles sign Tim Jernigan to 4-year extension

Eagles sign Tim Jernigan to 4-year extension

Updated: 7:36 p.m.

The Eagles answered one of their huge offseason question marks Thursday by signing defensive tackle Tim Jernigan to a four-year contract.

The deal is worth $48 million, $26 million of which is guaranteed, according to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

This adds four years to Jernigan’s current contract, which was due to expire after this season. So he’s now signed through 2021.

"It's an honor to be a part of this organization and I want to thank Jeffrey Lurie, Coach Pederson and Howie Roseman for giving me the opportunity to continue my career here in Philadelphia," Jernigan said in a statement released by the team.

"I love it here. We have a great group of guys and a great coaching staff. The fans are unbelievable. We have something special going right now and we need to keep building on it. I'm proud to be part of it."

Jernigan has played only nine games in an Eagles uniform but has established himself as a formidable piece of one of the NFL’s most dominating defensive lines. The numbers — 20 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 1½ sacks, five hurries — don’t really come close to describing how disruptive Jernigan has been. His performance alongside Fletcher Cox has been widely credited for Cox’s return to his All-Pro form.

Jernigan, originally the Ravens’ 2014 second-round pick out of Florida State, is earning $1,017,284 million this year in the final year of his rookie contract. The deal the Eagles gave him kicks in next year.

On that defensive line, which has helped carry the Eagles to an NFL-best 8-1 record and a seven-game winning streak at the bye week, Cox is signed through 2022, Jernigan, Barnett and Chris Long through 2021, Vinny Curry through 2020, Brandon Graham through 2018 and Beau Allen through this season.

The Eagles had about $6.3 million available under their 2017 adjusted salary cap figure of just under $175 million. Jernigan's exact cap figures will be available when the specific year-by-year breakdown of his deal becomes available.

Eagles injury report: Jake Elliott still in concussion protocol

ap-jake-elliott-eagles.jpg
AP Images

Eagles injury report: Jake Elliott still in concussion protocol

Eagles kicker Jake Elliott is still in the NFL’s concussion protocol but it looks likely that he’ll be able to play on Sunday.

Elliott was a full participant in Thursday’s practice after being a limited participant on Wednesday. In Phase 4 of the concussion protocol, players are allowed to participate in non-contact drills.

Elliott suffered a concussion in the first half of Sunday’s game in Dallas and the team played the second half without a kicker. If Elliott can’t play against the Bears the Eagles will either bring back Caleb Sturgis from IR or sign an outside kicker.

While Elliott was able to practice  on Thursday, Beau Allen (knee) and Trey Burton (back) did not practice. Allen has missed practice Wednesday and Thursday.

Rodney McLeod (oblique) was a full participant on Thursday.

Right side of Eagles' offensive line should be lock for Pro Bowl

usa-jason-kelce-brandon-brooks-lane-johnson.jpg
USA Today Images

Right side of Eagles' offensive line should be lock for Pro Bowl

If everything continues to go to plan this season, the trio of Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson won't be in Orlando in late January for the Pro Bowl. 

If everything goes to plan, the Eagles' right side of the line will be too busy preparing to play in the Super Bowl. 

They'll certainly be deserving of making it to the Pro Bowl though. 

"I want to, man," Johnson said about the whole right side of the line making it. "I don't want to campaign for myself. But as far as the years we're having, we're doing pretty good."

Sometimes recognition is slow to come for offensive linemen. Kelce has already been to two Pro Bowls, so the name recognition will help his cause. Meanwhile, Brooks has been in the league since 2012, and Johnson has been in the league since 2013; neither has made a Pro Bowl yet. 

But it's hard to argue with results and they're certainly deserving this season.  

While the Eagles lost future Hall of Fame left tackle Jason Peters for the season in the second Washington game and while they have started three different players at left guard before settling on Stefen Wisniewski, the right side of the offensive line has been incredible through 11 games. 

Kelce and Brooks have started every game and Johnson missed just one because of a concussion and a Thursday night game. 

"It’s a luxury not only to have those guys healthy but just playing together and [having] three guys playing at a very high level," offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. "The consistency of that, the confidence in that just grows more and more every week."

Johnson has been playing at a completely different level all season. It's pretty clear he had a mission coming into the 2017 season. He wanted to prove he was one of the NFL's best tackles and he wanted to prove doubters wrong after his second PED suspension last season.

Through 11 games, Johnson has shut down top pass-rushers like Ryan Kerrigan, Von Miller and Demarcus Lawrence. Halapoulivaati Vaitai has played well enough at left tackle to allow Johnson to stay on the right side, where he has been simply dominant (see story). 

"I don't like to over-hype players, especially in the middle of the season, but Lane is playing great football," Reich said. "I just can't imagine there's a better right tackle in the league. I can't imagine there's any tackle — if you add up the cumulative guys that he's going to have to block by the time is year is over and their sacks, I mean, it's unreal."

Brooks has overcome his anxiety issues to start the first 10 games this season. The only snaps he missed came when he got a break at the end of the Denver game in garbage time. The former third-round pick, who joined the Eagles before last season as a free agent, has always had Pro Bowl potential. But he's starting to fulfill it this season. 

According to ProFootballFocus, Brooks hasn't given up a sack and has given up just one quarterback hit all season. 

"It makes it easier, man. He's having a Pro Bowl year," Johnson said about playing with Brooks. "I look at Kelce and Brooks. [Brooks] is 340-plus, whatever he is, and he just makes it a lot easier for me blocking inside."

Then there's Kelce, who is one of the longest-tenured players on the team. The center has been in Philly since he was drafted in the sixth round of the 2011 draft and he's had plenty of ups and downs during his time. 

While he made the Pro Bowl last season, he didn't necessarily have a Pro Bowl season. Recently, offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland took the blame for that, saying he asked too much of Kelce during the 2016 season. Kelce had a different reason for why things have been going so much better toward the end of last season and into this one. 

"I don't know about that," Kelce said, responding to Stoutland's comments. "I just know I'm utilizing different techniques. I'm using my hands better. Not just me, I think it's everybody. And then another year being in the system, in the offense, you're more comfortable, you understand everything better."

It's not incredibly rare for a team to send an entire side of its offensive line to the Pro Bowl. In fact, the Eagles did it as recently as 2014, when the left side of Kelce, Evan Mathis and Peters went. But that season Mathis played in just nine games. 

In the second year with the center, right guard and right tackle together, the chemistry is clearly at a new high. Rookie running back Corey Clement noted that the guys on that side of the line just seem to complement one another. 

What's it like running behind them? 

"It's an honor," Clement said. "Anybody can see it on the outside. Anybody who wants to be in this running back corps, you get a great group of guys who lay it out every week for you."