Eagles bring back Tim Jernigan at a dramatically lower price


Tim Jernigan is back and with a much lower contract.

The Eagles, who cut ties with Jernigan in March, re-signed the gifted but frustrating 26-year-old defensive tackle on Thursday to a one-year deal.

Exact terms aren’t available yet, but Jernigan will be earning dramatically less than he was scheduled to on his original contract, which would have paid him $11 million this season.

When the Eagles cut ties with him early last month by declining to pick up his option, it cleared $7 million in cap space but cost the Eagles $6 million in dead money.

They still will carry that dead money but won’t have to pay Jernigan like an elite player.

The Eagles initially acquired Jernigan in a trade with the Ravens two years ago this month. After he played very well the first half of the season, the Eagles signed him to a four-year, $48 million contract.

But a mysterious offseason injury that he never publically explained kept Jernigan off the field last year until late November, and he wound up playing only 45 snaps during the regular season and 58 more in the playoffs.

Even when the Eagles cut ties with Jernigan, they never closed the door on him returning, and when he was unable to land the long-term deal he wanted, the Eagles didn’t hesitate to bring him back.

Jernigan, originally the Ravens' second-round pick in 2014, can be a dominating player when healthy, and if he’s able to regain his form from early in 2017, he gives the Eagles terrific depth on the interior of the defensive line along with Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson.

Does this change the Eagles’ draft philosophy at No. 25 tonight?

Not at all. This is a very deep defensive line draft, and the Eagles are not going to pass by a potentially elite defensive lineman just because they signed an injury-plagued Jernigan to a one-year deal.

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