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Tim Jernigan set to become free agent after Eagles decline option

Nick Foles isn’t the only player the Philadelphia Eagles are allowing to walk. The Eagles declined the 2019 option for defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.

This move had been expected, so it isn’t that much of a surprise, but it is still significant. Jernigan signed a four-year, $48 million extension late in the 2017 season, but made it just one year into the deal. The Eagles will save $7 million against the cap this year as a result of voiding the deal, but will eat around $6 million in dead money.

Jernigan had back surgery last offseason and appeared in just three games this past season. It was a remarkable rise and fall in Philly. Jernigan was a full-time starter and very productive player in 2017. A Florida State product, Jernigan originally entered the league as a second-round pick of the Ravens in 2014.

He was traded to the Eagles before the 2017 season and initially flourished. He will now hit the open market and is still only 26. If he can show that he is fully healthy and has moved past the back problems that cost him almost the entire 2018 season, he should have a very active market.

The option would have paid Jernigan, who won Super Bowl LII with the Eagles, $11 million this year. A run stuffer in the middle, Jernigan has also been productive at rushing the passer. He racked up 13 sacks across less than three full seasons with Baltimore, which is very solid for someone playing the role he does.

This decision will give the Eagles added flexibility in free agency, where they have frequently been linked to big names such as Le’Veon Bell.