<Lumberg voice from ‘Office Space’>
“Hello Eagles fans. What’s happening? Uhhhh… we have sort of a problem here… yeahhhh…”
That problem comes out of left field, per Adam Schefter and Field Yates:
Eagles’ starting DT Timmy Jernigan underwent surgery on a herniated disc in his back last week and is expected to be out four-to-six months, league sources tell @FieldYates and me.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 3, 2018
Another layer to this story: the Eagles and Jernigan have agreed to a reworked contract, in which the final three years of Jernigan’s deal are now option years with no guaranteed money. Philly will evaluate his health as part of the decision going forward. https://t.co/D4WaXnFW7M
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 3, 2018
Actually, you know what, it doesn’t come out of left field. It looks like Howard Eskin reported this the other day, though he didn’t have a ton of details:
From #NFL Sources I’m told #Eagles DT Tim Jernigan has had surgery for a Herniated Disc. I’m also told anticipation is for a full recovery . Jernigan will not participate in off season program. @SportsRadioWIP
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) May 1, 2018
The finer points come from a Schefter/Yates ESPN article, which further explains the situation:
The injury easily could have ended Jernigan’s time in Philadelphia, with the Eagles releasing him and declining to pay him, since he suffered the injury during an off-season workout in March. But instead, the Eagles reworked his contract and will now pay him $3 million guaranteed this season, but no longer will be liable for the $11 million guaranteed that was due next season, as part of the four-year $48 million extension he signed after being acquired in a trade with Baltimore.
Under terms of the new contract, the final three years of Jernigan’s deal are now option years, with Jernigan scheduled to make $11 million in 2019, $12 million in 2020 and $12 million in 2021, as was the case under the previous terms. However, none of that money is now guaranteed.
Alright then. That puts Jernigan on the shelf until September at the earliest of November at the latest, just going by that time frame.
So if the Eagles knew about this in March, they could have addressed the position in the draft. They didn’t, which tells me that they feel confident enough with a group of Fletcher Cox, Haloti Ngata, Elijah Qualls, Destiny Vaeao, Aziz Shittu and Winston Craig. Michael Bennett will play some snaps on the inside on obvious passing downs, as was the case with Brandon Graham last year. The Birds also reportedly brought in undrafted free agent Bruce Hector. Beau Allen went to Tampa in free agency.
Jernigan is only 25 years old and played well until an ankle injury slowed him down a bit this season. He was acquired last April from Baltimore when the Ravens packaged the DT with a draft pick to move up the board in the third round.