Houston Texans shore up defensive line with Tim Jernigan

Tim Jernigan, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Tim Jernigan, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans fortify their defensive line with the addition of Tim Jernigan.

The Houston Texans have reached an agreement to add defensive tackle Tim Jernigan to their front seven, according to Mark Berman of Fox 26. Jernigan’s signing is a welcomed addition for the Texans after D.J. Reader agreed to a four-year deal worth up to $53 million with the Cincinnati Bengals.

At 27 years of age, Jernigan still has plenty of football ahead of him if he can stay healthy with the Houston Texans. According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, Jernigan agreed to a one-year prove-it deal that is worth up to $3.75 million, with $1.25 million guaranteed. This is a low-risk high reward signing for the Texans as they can evaluate how Jernigan fits in the defense in the short term without jeopardizing their cap space flexibility for potential contract extensions with looming free agents.

Texans needed to add an interior defensive lineman to start in the defense, and they landed an underrated one in Jernigan. Texans were in the market for a veteran defender after striking out on Derek Wolfe as he agreed to a deal with the Baltimore Ravens.

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Selected in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Ravens, Jernigan spent his first three seasons in Baltimore before he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles to move up in the 2017 NFL Draft. Jernigan started in 26 of his 43 games in a Ravens uniform, finishing with 91 total tackles, 35 quarterback hits, 16 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, three pass deflections, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and an interception.

Jernigan saw less success in his three years in Philadelphia due to injuries, but he still started in 27 of the 28 games he played with the Eagles. Jernigan missed only one game in his first year, finishing with 29 tackles, nine tackles for loss, eight quarterback hits, and 2.5 sacks. Jernigan signed a four-year deal worth up to $48 million with the Eagles as they defied expectations and defeated the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl LII in 2017.

However, he went on to miss 19 games in the next two seasons with the Eagles, and only recorded two tackles as he missed 13 games in the 2018 season as he worked his way back from back surgery in the offseason. Jernigan played in 10 games his final season with the Eagles as he finished with ten tackles, three tackles for loss, and two sacks.

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Given his injuries and need to open up cap space, the Eagles decided to decline the final year in his contract before the start of this free agency.