3 Free Agent targets Rams must consider to fix run defense

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LA Rams

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – FEBRUARY 04: Tim Jernigan #93 of the Philadelphia Eagles reacts after defeating the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

DL Timmy Jernigan

The Philadelphia Eagles loved the play of defensive lineman Tim Jernigan. Despite his injury history, the defense is significantly more effective when he is among the rotation for defensive linemen. A modestly priced defensive lineman in 2019, his $1,625,000 salary would be ideal for the LA Rams current salary cap constraints.

He is the type of player whose box stats do not reflect his impact in the least.  Over his three year history with the Philadelphia Eagles, he played in 28 of the possible 48 games.  During that time, he  made 41 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 10 stuffs.  While that seems rather pedestrian for a defensive lineman, it does not do justice to what he really meant to the team’s defense.

Jernigan’s presence on the defensive line cast a long shadow for linebackers and safeties to play behind. As a result, just having him on the field elevated the play of his teammates noticeably.  And when the team was on life support with a 5-7 record, Jernigan elevated his play to stymie opposing offenses.  In fact, he was cited as bringing a snarl back to the Eagles defense.  That type of impact would be a huge boost to the Rams defense, particularly in facing the vastly improved and physical play of NFC West rivals San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, and Arizona Cardinals.

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