Defensive tackle Tim Jernigan will reportedly hit the open market as a free agent this offseason.
On Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the Philadelphia Eagles elected not to pick up the option on Jernigan’s contract, meaning he will become a free agent on March 13. Jeff McLane of Philly.com noted the NFC East team cuts $7 million of the $13 million salary cap number Jernigan represented for 2019 with this move.
Jernigan entered the league in 2014 as a second-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens and wasted little time making an impact. He played his first three seasons for the AFC North team, tallying 13 combined sacks with at least four each year.
The Eagles acquired him via trade prior to the 2017 campaign, and he posted 2.5 sacks as part of a deep defensive line rotation that helped the team win the Super Bowl.
While that was the high point of his tenure in Philadelphia, things took a disappointing turn when he underwent back surgery and played just three games without a sack during the 2018 campaign.
Still, Jernigan is only 26 years old and a playoff-tested player who can plug holes against the run and occupy multiple blockers while freeing blitzing lanes for edge-rushers. Other teams around the league now have the opportunity to add that skill level following the Eagles’ decision.