We have signed DT Timmy Jernigan (@TJernigan8) and placed DL Rodney Gunter on the reserve/retired list.— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) August 17, 2020
Jernigan has appeared in 71 career games and has totaled 132 tackles, including 29 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks. pic.twitter.com/v45cukwHtp
Last week, the Jaguars reportedly were close to signing the free agent defensive tackle, and have now made the move official.
Jernigan, 6-foot-2, 295 pounds, brings depth to a greatly-depleted interior defensive line room.
That much was compounded on Sunday when free agent signee Rodney Gunter announced that he has a heart condition, rendering him unfit to continue playing professional football. His unexpected announcement, combined with Al Woods opting out earlier this month, gives credence as to why the Jaguars have been aggressive in signing defensive linemen.
Thus far, the Jaguars have signed five veteran defensive linemen shortly prior or during training camp this year. Including Jernigan, the team has signed defensive tackles Caraun Reid and Carl Davis Jr. and defensive ends Josh Mauro and Adam Gotsis.
While not all of them are expected to make the 53-man roster, they’ll be important for the team to discover who best can replace the losses that have been taken within the defensive line room.
Jernigan brings an added presence to the Jaguars as a proven commodity in the NFL. While he has not been able to stay healthy over the past two seasons, Jernigan has done well on two separate defensive schemes in Baltimore and Philadelphia.
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.
While he has primarily been used as an interior defensive lineman in a 4-3 scheme, he has played defensive end in a three-man front based defense with the Ravens in 2014. The Jaguars run a four-man front, however they have routinely used interior players outside or vice versa, similarly to how they’ve used Calais Campbell in the past, and how they were expected to use Gunter.
While signing Jernigan does not completely fix the depth issues the Jaguars have, he does offer plenty of upside.