Former Eagles defensive tackle Tim Jernigan is reportedly heading back to the AFC after agreeing to a deal with the Houston Texans.
NFL source: #Texans reach a verbal agreement with DT Tim Jernigan Jr.— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) April 1, 2020
Jernigan is the fifth starter from the Eagles’ Super Bowl LII-winning team to move on to a new team this offseason, joining Malcolm Jenkins, Ronald Darby, Nelson Agholor and Halapoulivaati Vaitai.
The Eagles’ moving on from Jernigan isn’t much of a surprise after the moves they’ve already made this offseason. First, they brought back Hassan Ridgeway on a one-year deal, then they got Javon Hargrave on a three-year deal. That made it pretty clear that Jernigan wouldn’t be returning.
While we don’t know the real terms of Jernigan’s contract, it seems possible that he might factor into the compensatory pick formula.
Here’s the updated list of Eagles free agents who have found teams so far:
Updated landing spots for #Eagles FAs:— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) April 1, 2020
Jernigan, 27, arrived in Philadelphia in April of 2017 in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens and became a major part of the Super Bowl season. He was a starter next to Fletcher Cox and was playing very well until he suffered an ankle injury. But Jernigan was still able to start 15 games that regular season and all three playoff games. He earned a four-year extension during that season.
But that’s when things got strange.
Jernigan suffered a mysterious back/neck injury during the 2018 offseason and never revealed what happened. That forced him to renegotiate his contract and he was able to play just three games (five including playoffs) in 2018.
Last year, the Eagles brought in Malik Jackson to start ahead of Jernigan but Jackson got hurt in Week 1, which should have opened the door for Jernigan. But then Jernigan hurt his foot in Week 2. Eventually, Jernigan played in 10 games (9 starts) but he hasn’t been at his best since early in that 2017 run. And even though he’s 27, it’s fair to wonder if his best days are behind him.
Still, the absence of Jernigan will still be felt. He was a popular guy among his teammates and Jim Schwartz once said Jernigan “means something to our spirit.”
At the end of the 2019 season, it seemed like Jernigan was already preparing himself for his departure and saying goodbye to Philadelphia.
“At the end of the day, man, as long as my teammates know that I gave everything I had on Sunday, when those lights turned on, I gave y’all everything I had,” he said after the playoff loss to the Seahawks. “I’m at peace with that.
“However it turns out with me in this free agency thing, I’m at peace with that. As long as y’all boys know I gave y’all everything I had. The city knows I gave them everything I had. It’s always love from here, from me there’s always love.”
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