Former NFL executive Michael Lombardi who has ties to Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome and now is a media analyst for The Ringer, was featured on The NFL Show today and shared his thoughts on the Ravens signing of Brandon Williams and the domino effect that could have on the Ravens defensive line.
“I hear [The Ravens are] talking about moving [Tim] Jernigan. I think Jernigan is a fabulous player but they can’t afford to sign him. If you’re a team like Jacksonville, and you know you can afford him, why not give up a third- or fourth-round pick for Jernigan and get another defensive lineman and do it before free agency and keep the kid.”
You can listen to Lombardi’s comments at the 24:54 mark of the podcast below.
Our staff reacts to the rumored trade of Tim Jernigan…
Clearly Tim Jernigan has potential and he’s the best interior pass rusher the Ravens employ. But he’s frustrating in that he’s inconsistent. At times, he can appear dominant and at other times he disappears. Plus, his emotions can get the best of him and that sometimes triggers costly unsportsmanlike conduct penalties which we all know frustrates John Harbaugh to no end.
Last season Jernigan had 31 tackles, 5 sacks and 4 stuffs, good for the league’s 42nd ranked of 127 interior defenders graded by Pro Football Focus. But most of Jernigan’s productivity (24 tackles/4 sacks/3 stuffs) came at the beginning of the season against less threatening opponents. During the second half of the season Jernigan’s numbers fell to 7/1/1 and during the final four games, 1/0/0.
This is the season when Jernigan plays for his big pay day in 2018 and that won’t come at the Ravens expense. Someone else will be carrying Jernigan’s next contract. Why not move him? If the Ravens can land a fourth-round pick, they might be able to deal from a position of strength (D-Line) and boost a relative position of weakness (Inside Linebacker) in this draft.
Anything less than a 4, the Ravens should pass. They could nail a 5th-round comp pick or better when he signs elsewhere next year. I’d take that and his production this season instead of a 5th-round pick.
I guess trading Jernigan would depend on where the Front Office thought the Ravens stood for the 2017 season. You don’t trade a high-quality DT for a mid-round pic if you believe the Ravens have a real shot at the Super Bowl in 2017. Most likely the guy you get back with that mid-round pic won’t be an impact player this season. If you think the team is at least a year away from a run at the SB, then trade him now and get a better pic back than the Comp pic that you would get for letting him go after the 2017 season.
I am interested to see how they view this year’s team. A trade would tell us a lot.
What’s being proposed here is the New England way of doing business. They’ve traditionally traded players they know they can’t afford (Jamie Collins just last year, Chandler Jones before the season), and they’ve recouped better value as a result. Jernigan makes the most sense as trade bait because he’s a bit of a misfit in the Ravens’ 3-4 scheme. His inconsistencies at the end of the last two seasons don’t help his cause. He really needs to have a complete season to cash in. The reality is that the Ravens chose Williams over Jernigan because the dollars won’t work for both players. If you’re only going to get one more year out of Jernigan, why not trade him? Especially if you can get a WR (like Jordan Matthews) and swap picks with the Eagles, or get an additional pick in return.
Trading players before they’re due for lucrative contracts is something that the Patriots have done frequently in recent years. Chandler Jones was traded away last offseason in return for a second round pick in a move that was a win-win for both teams. The Patriots got a high draft pick in return for a player that the Cardinals recently locked up to a long-term extension. One might ask why the Ravens would do this now if they will eventually get a similar compensatory pick anyway, and there’s one really good reason why…the Ravens enter this year’s draft with the least amount of picks since 2010. If the Ravens are confident they won’t be able to retain Jernigan after recently investing so much in Brandon Williams getting him off the books now for an early pick isn’t a bad idea. It could also open up some cap space to fill some more holes this offseason.
Possibly the first D-Line domino to fall post Brandon Williams huge extension. Paying so much for a player that doesn’t rush the QB doesn’t come without risk. You can’t allocate more big money to the position but you’re losing the only guy left up front who’s shown a pass rushing prowess on the pro level. Recent draftees Brent Urban, Willie Henry, Carl Davis and Bronson Kaufusi are a talented group, and honestly better fits for the defense but will be under a great deal of pressure. Especially since there are no veterans left ahead of them at this point to serve as insurance. It will be interesting to see what Jernigan fetches. The Ravens still have holes, especially on offense, maybe he brings back a potential starter or draft day ammo.
I’ve always wondered how Timmy Jernigan‘s personality meshed in the locker room, and more specifically with John Harbaugh. Both (a) this trade news and (b) the coin Baltimore dished out to Brandon Williams seem to provide us with our answer. This rumor is not shocking, and it’s good to hear that the front office is active wheeling and dealing to try and improve this roster. Devastating personal foul penalties aside, Jernigan is a very disruptive player and still has a higher ceiling than most people probably realize, despite his recent inconsistencies. I wouldn’t mind this going either way.
I’m all for this move. Take the Brandon Williams wheelbarrow full of money, couple it with Jernigan’s perceived value, throw in the numerous positional needs the Ravens still have on the current roster, and you’re left with the perfect set up for trade bait. With potential outcomes ranging from added draft picks and freed up cap space, to a vet-for-vet swap to fill a void, I can’t see how this isn’t ideal timing for the Ravens. IF the deal is done right, of course.
Whatever it takes to keep the Ravens improving their roster, I’m all for. While big money was paid to Williams (not a fan), it’s clear the organization feels it can find another player like Jernigan in the draft. One has to wonder what exactly they would get in return for a player who has under achieved in Dean Pees’ defense.
Jernigan disappeared in the 2nd half of 2016, so I question the Ravens ability to get full value for him. However, a team with cap to spend would have the opportunity to sign him to a long-term deal a year before he hits free agency.
I hope this is not a personality clash with Harbaugh. John made Timmy the scapegoat for the loss to the Jets when he fumbled leaving the end zone. It was a costly fumble, but not a bad decision to leave the end zone as I detailed here. The following week Jernigan recovered a fumble and went to the ground immediately.
Trade Jernigan for value?
No problem, that could be a good cap management decision.
Trade Timmy at a discount because of his relationship with Harbaugh?
That’s a problem for me.