Timmy Jernigan

Timmy Jernigan bringing ‘contagious energy’ to Eagles’ playoff run

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Timmy Jernigan bringing ‘contagious energy’ to Eagles’ playoff run

At some point after Sunday’s 16-15 win over the Bears in Chicago, Tim Jernigan celebrated by wearing that black ski mask, he loaned his dorky 50-year-old coach his iced-out Jesus piece and then cheesed hard, gold teeth shining, for a photo. 

This photo. 

Make no mistake about it. Jernigan is a very good football player. And his presence on the football field will certainly help the Eagles win games. But Jernigan brings more than that. 

Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz tried to describe it earlier this week: 

He means something to our spirit. He's a guy that has a little bit of a contagious energy. You just see him out on the field. He brings a confidence. He brings a toughness. He has made some big plays for us. 

Jernigan, 26, is healthy now. He was able to play 22 snaps Sunday and said this week that he feels good to know. That’s enough reason to keep him smiling after an offseason when he was unsure of his football future and a season that certainly hasn’t gone to plan. 

So this is just Jernigan back being himself. And his teammates absolutely love his personality. Ask anyone about Jernigan and they’ll tell you that Jernigan just brings some juice to the team. 

I asked Jernigan if it’s a conscious decision to bring energy. His answer was classic Timmy: 

Nah, man. That’s just who I am. I don’t try to be a mascot or nothing like that. I’m a 3-technique, dawg. I ain’t gotta do all that. That’s just who I am. I love football, I love the game. 

I’ve been through some things that I definitely cherish every second that I can on the football field now. Not saying that I didn’t, but I’m a lot more conscious about every time I get on the football field, I need to take advantage of it and stay thankful.

One of those things Jernigan went through was what I alluded to just a bit ago. This offseason, he had surgery on his back for an unspecified injury. He still won’t get into the cause of the injury but has said he was worried he’d never play football again.

So just getting back on the field means a ton to him. He was already a fun, energetic guy before all that. After it? He’s just having fun again with his teammates. 

“Some people have personalities that people gravitate toward,” Chris Long said. “He’s one of my favorite guys to play with on the team. He helps on the field and obviously, his attitude helps as well.” 

The Eagles got Jernigan from Baltimore in a swap of 25 places in the third round. The Eagles used the 99th pick they got back for Rasul Douglas, who has been a big part of the last two seasons. The Ravens drafted DE Chris Wormley with the pick they got. He has started eight games in two years and got his first and only sack this season. 

It didn’t take long for Jernigan to win over his new teammates. He has an infectious personality. On Jernigan’s first day back at practice this season, Pederson made sure to greet him with a giant hug during warmups. Everyone was happy to see him back on the field and he’s meant something to the team since he’s been back. 

I asked Michael Bennett for an example of how Jernigan brings energy and he said he didn’t really have one. 

“Like, he brings energy,” Bennett said. “You can’t see energy. You can just feel it.”

The Eagles are feeling it during this playoff run. And Jernigan will be smiling the whole way.

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More on the Eagles

Roob Knows Podcast: The Eagles will win the NFC East

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Roob Knows Podcast: The Eagles will win the NFC East

On this edition of Roob Knows, Reuben Frank discusses how the Eagles stack up offensively through eight games this season compared to last year.

Washington's loss on Sunday puts the Eagles in really good position to win the division. Why Roob thinks that will happen.

Carson Wentz is playing at a historically excellent level and Roob has the stats to prove it. Also, Timmy Jernigan is back practicing.

1:30 - Comparing the offense from this year to last year.
7:30 - The Redskins loss puts the Eagles in position to win the NFC East.
11:30 - Early look at Eagles-Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.
17:00 - Some incredible Wentz stats.
21:00 - Injury updates.

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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.