When the Philadelphia Eagles swapped third-round picks in the 2017 National Football League draft with the Baltimore Ravens for fourth-year defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan, it seemed like a low-risk, high-reward deal to acquire a young player on a one-year, make-it-or-break-it deal.
Schefter reports that the deal is worth $48 million and that $26 million is fully guaranteed.
"Since the day he entered the building, Tim has been a difference-maker both on the field and around the building", the team said in a statement.
Even though Jernigan has only recorded 1.5 sacks this season, he's been an essential piece in the defensive line puzzle and has made it incredibly hard to double-team Cox on every play like they did past year. Jernigan has a team-high eight tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and five hurries on the season.
"For three years, he had been sort of a lateral, at-the-line-of-scrimmage-type player, and he just fit what we wanted him to do, and he stuck with it".
The approach of spending big on interior defensive linemen is likely related to the success coordinator Jim Schwartz has enjoyed while emphasizing the importance of a talented front four. He's disruptive. He plays with a lot of energy.
Jernigan suffered an ankle injury that forced him from Sunday's 51-23 win over the Denver Broncos, but he is expected to be fine when the Eagles return off the bye week next Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
At Florida State, he helped the Seminoles win the BCS National Championship and was a second-team All-America as a junior in that 2013 season.