Timmy Jernigan

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' newcomers not surprised 'special' team atop NFC

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USA Today Images

Eagles' newcomers not surprised 'special' team atop NFC

Tim Jernigan didn't have any choice in the matter. 

While he might be the Eagles' most important offseason acquisition, Jernigan was brought to Philadelphia in early April in a trade with Baltimore. 

Things have worked out pretty well, though. In a contract year, Jernigan has been great playing in a system that's almost completely foreign to him and he's probably earning himself a ton of money. But aside from that, he's been a key to the Eagles' quick 5-1 start. 

The Eagles are sitting pretty at the top of the NFC East and the entire NFC. 

That's not a shock to Jernigan or the rest of the Eagles' newcomers. 

"I'm not surprised at all," Jernigan said. "I knew that we had talent coming into the season. And more than that, I knew the work we had put in on the field in the weight room and away from football. Guys really bought in. The biggest thing now is not getting complacent with 5-1. Things can change fast. You never know. We still have 10 games guaranteed left. We have to focus on that."

This is Jernigan's fourth NFL season and he has been on just one team with a winning record. That came in his rookie season in 2014, when the Ravens went 10-6. 

There seems to be a really good chance this season could be even better for the Eagles. 

"I think we have a pretty good team, man," Jernigan said, echoing Carson Wentz. "I think we're going to be special."

While Jernigan had no choice in coming to Philadelphia, plenty of big-name free agents did. Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, LeGarrette Blount and even Chris Long all chose to come and play for the Eagles, who were coming off a 7-9 season. 

Obviously, one of the big reasons, especially for the receivers, was the chance to play with Wentz. While Wentz didn't have a stellar rookie season, he showed flashes of what might make him a franchise quarterback. 

The Eagles also had some other key positions with talent. Their offensive line featured two Pro Bowl-caliber offensive tackles, a veteran center and a really solid guard. Their safety duo is one of the best in the league. Their middle linebacker is young and good. Their tight end has been productive. There were question marks, sure, but still talent. 

And then the team added those key free agents. 

"There's a reason I signed here," Jeffery said. "A lot of key additions, picking up Torrey, picking up LeGarrette, me and Timmy and some other guys. The front office staff did a great job putting us together. But just seeing how they were last year, just a few pieces here and there, it could be big." 

While Jernigan missed the really good years in Baltimore, Smith didn't. Jernigan's first year with the Ravens was Smith's last, which meant Smith was there for the 2011 season when the Ravens lost in the AFC championship game and the 2012 season when they won the Super Bowl. 

So Smith knows what a special team looks like. And he sees something special in the Eagles' locker room. That's why 5-1 is coming as no surprise. 

"I knew as soon as I came in here, it just looks right," he said. "That's from the top down. It has the right feel. I said that the first day I came here and I still feel that way and obviously, you're able to see that, the way guys have been working." 

On the short list of five guys in the Eagles' locker room who have won Super Bowls, three of them came this offseason: Smith, Long and Blount. 

On Tuesday, Blount preached the importance of not getting caught up in the hype (see story). He preached the importance of focusing on only the game in front of them. They haven't accomplished anything yet. 

While Blount is trying to make sure the team stays grounded, he's not surprised either. It seems like no one is. 

"I feel like we've been a confident team since we started, all the way back from OTAs, training camp, preseason," he said. "I feel like we've always been a confident group. That's one of the things that you need in order for you to be a winning team. You have to have confidence. You have to have confidence in yourself, as well as the guys that you're going to be playing with, the coaches, and it goes on from there. You have to have confidence."

Eagles training camp Day 9 observations: Defense stands strong in red zone

Eagles training camp Day 9 observations: Defense stands strong in red zone

A day after tackling to the ground, the Eagles were in shorts and shells on Wednesday morning, but they still had a spirited practice. 

They worked a bunch in the red zone, which made for some interesting moments. 

They have two more days of practice on Thursday and Friday before another off day on Saturday. 

Observation time: 

1. *Clears throat* injuries: Nick Foles (elbow), Alshon Jeffery (shoulder), Donnel Pumphrey (hamstring), LeGarrette Blount (personal reasons), Alex McCalister (hamstring) and Elijah Qualls (groin) all missed practice again. 

Torrey Smith (back spasms) returned after missing one day of practice, but Paul Turner missed Wednesday with a shoulder injury. 

Jeffery said he won't do interviews until he practices again. On Tuesday, head coach Doug Pederson said the injury wasn't serious. 

2. The offense came out in the first 11-on-11 red-zone period firing. First, Wentz hit Darren Sproles on a perfect wheel route. Even if there was a defender in the area, the pass was simply perfect. Then, Trey Burton brought down two consecutive passes in the end zone. On the first, he leaped over Patrick Robinson and the second he caught with Jalen Mills draped over him. 

3. The defense answered though. 

In the next 11-on-11 period in the red zone, the defense was impenetrable. Wentz and the offense had 12 plays, starting from the 20, and couldn't get into the end zone. Of those 12 plays, two were short runs from Wendell Smallwood. The rest were incompletions. Mills knocked down a pass intended for Burton. C.J. Smith knocked down a pass to Smith. Malcolm Jenkins knocked down a pass for Burton. And even Robinson, who has struggled immensely, got into the action, breaking up a pass for Jordan Matthews. Fletcher Cox pushed Wentz out of the pocket on one of the incompletions. 

Even in the next period, which was 7-on-7 in the red zone, the defense was stout. It wasn't until the fifth play of the 7-on-7s that the offense scored. Brent Celek bobbled the ball but caught it in the back of the end zone. 

That touchdown wasn't until the 17th play inside the red zone. Impressive stuff from the defense. 

"With our offense, they have a lot of formations so you have to see it and communicate," Mills said. "If you don't communicate vs. our offense, we're going to get scored on. I feel like that was the big part of the day today. We communicated as a defense."  

4. As expected, the receiver vs. defensive back 1-on-1s went in favor of the receivers. It's a drill that is just easier for them, but several of the plays stood out. 

- Smith pulled in a pretty spectacular catch with his left hand while being held by a defender.

- Mack Hollins made a really tough catch with Mills all over him. 

- Matthews made a tough catch on a fade over Malcolm Jenkins. 

- Aaron Grymes broke up a bad pass intended for Nelson Agholor and Rasul Douglas broke up a ball intended for David Watford. 

5. As the offense practiced red-zone work today, Burton was really involved. He made those two big catches during the team portion and was also a big target in the group portion of practice. He had an impressive over-the-shoulder adjustment on a deep ball from Wentz.  

6. Agholor made an impressive touchdown catch in the end zone, scooping it up from just about the top of the grass during 7-on-7s. It was the play of the day for the offense. 

7. In the very last 11-on-11 period of the day, Darren Sproles reminded everyone that he still has some moves. He took the handoff running right and cut on a dime back to the left, leaving a few defenders floating the wrong way. He turned 34 in June, but the little running back still has it. 

8. Speaking about impressive cuts, Greg Ward had one on Wednesday. Working on the other field — Pederson split up parts of practice today to let the first teams and second teams face each other — Ward caught a short pass and completely reversed field, eventually pulling a great move on rookie cornerback Jomal Wiltz. 

9. Hollins couldn't bring down a deep ball with C.J. Smith making a great play, but it was a gem of a pass from Wentz. The Eagles' quarterback wasn't lights-out on Wednesday, but we've seen his deep passes consistently be on the money throughout training camp. It's been impressive. 

10. Tim Jernigan continues to make plays every day. He's consistently getting into the backfield to stop run plays before they can develop. 

Stupid Observation of the Day: It looks like Bryce Treggs and Greg Ward have developed a special handshake. It's kind of like two jump steps followed by a few slaps of their hands.