The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to sign veteran defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, according to a report from NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. This comes shortly Jernigan visited with the team on Wednesday, according to the NFL’s transaction wire.
With a bunch of DTs opting out recently, Timmy Jernigan had several options. But the Florida native preferred to play there, so the #Jaguars became a likely landing spot. Not done til it's done but it should get done. OK I'm done.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 12, 2020
Jernigan, 27, first entered the league with the Baltimore Ravens in 2014 as a second-round selection out of Florida State University. The defensive tackle spent the last three seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles after being acquired by the team in 2017, swapping third-round picks.
A free agent this year, Jernigan was set to sign a one-year $3.75M contract with the Houston Texans, however, he never made it there, failing his physical.
In his career, Jernigan has started 51 games, while playing in 71 total. He’s tallied 132 tackles (70 solos), 29 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks. His career has been limited due to injuries, playing in only 13 games over the past two seasons, however, he was a starter for the Eagles’ Super Bowl run in 2017, playing a key role in Jim Schwartz’s defense.
In November of 2017, the Eagles gave Jernigan a whopping four-year $48M contract extension through 2021, however, they would opt to decline his $11M option for 2019, ultimately re-signing him to a one-year contract.
For the Jaguars, Jernigan would add much-needed defensive line depth, able to play all five techniques, giving the team a versatile veteran to add to the mix with Taven Bryan, Abry Jones and DaVon Hamilton.
Depth at the position has been an issue after veteran defensive tackle Al Woods opted to sit out of the 2020 NFL season due to concerns for his family regarding the coronvirus pandemic. The team also placed third-year DT Brian Price and second-year DT Dontavius Russell on the team’s reserve/injured list, ending his season.
This week, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone addressed the lack of depth the team currently has at defensive tackle due to injuries at the position.
“I’m not going to say it’s not a concern, right? That would be ridiculous,” Marrone said of overall concern for the depth at the position.
“It would be a lack of awareness. Yes, it was a concern. I think that we’re fortunate, I feel fortunate, even some of the players that we’ve picked up lately have really looked good out there. Again, we’re not doing anything football-wise, we don’t have pads on, but the guys we’ve brought in and the guys we’re bringing in, obviously Carl Davis is a guy we have experience with and we’re bringing in guys that we feel have a chance.”