The 26-year-old defensive lineman had his option for this upcoming season declined earlier in the offseason, which saved the Eagles $7 million in cap space and $6 million in dead money.
The move to bring back Jernigan should not come as a huge surprise to anyone because when healthy, he’s one of the Eagles’ best run-stopping defensive lineman.
This past season, Jernigan only played in five games due to a back injury that he suffered in the offseason. The former Florida State product had five combined tackles, three quarterback hits, a sack and a tackle for loss.
Nevertheless, the Eagles are hoping that Jernigan can return to his 2017 forms, where he was a dominant force playing next to All-Pro defensive tackle in Fletcher Cox.
During that season, Jernigan racked up 29 quarterback hits, nine tackles for loss, eight quarterback hits, and 2.5 sacks.
But unlike the 2017 season, where he was a starter. Jernigan will be more of a rotational defensive tackle this upcoming season, especially with the Eagles signing Malik Jackson to a three-year deal in free agency.
As things currently stand, the Eagles’ potential starters on the defensive line are Derek Barnett, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and Malik Jackson.
Therefore, if Jernigan can return back to his 2017 form in a backup role, then the Eagles should have one of the best defenses this upcoming season.