The Philadelphia Eagles have locked up one of their defensive stars to a long-term contract extension. Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan signed a four-year contract extension with the Eagles. The contract is worth $48 million and includes $26 million in total guarantees. The extension keeps Jernigan under contract through the 2021 season. Jernigan was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2018 season. The move helps the Eagles further solidify their formidable pass rush — Fletcher Cox, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry and Chris Long are all under contract through at least 2020. In nine games with the Eagles, Jernigan has recorded 1.5 sacks and 11 tackles. He’s played an important role in facilitating the league’s best defense against the rush (66.4 yards per game) since being acquired in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens in April. With Philly sitting at 8-1, the move to ensure Jernigan remains a part of the team’s long-term plans makes plenty of sense for Eagles executive vice president Howie Roseman. Jernigan has proven to be a valuable cog in the team’s defensive efforts so far.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Soon you’ll be attending awkward family dinners and spending tons of money (and time) that you don’t have on gifts for loved ones. Smart people are taking care of their holiday shopping early, people like DE Stephon Tuitt who used the Steelers’ bye week to buy his mom, Tamara Bartlett, a 2,700-square-foot home in Atlanta. Not only did Tuitt get a big gift checked off his list early, he also made a last-minute push for 2017 Son of the Year. Tuitt signed a five-year, $60 million contract extension in September, so he’s not exactly on the mid-size Edible Arrangement budget like most other 24-year-olds. Tuitt told: “People don’t all grow up the same. I’m blessed to be able to do something I get paid a lot of money to do, but you got to be smart. I just had good people in my corner to do the right things with my money and put me in the right position to do this for my mother”. It’s always heartwarming to see players give back to the person who’s helped them become the men they are today. Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette bought his mom a brand new car in the offseason and Texans QB Deshaun Watson did the same for his mom right after being drafted. So, this holiday season take notes from Tuitt, Watson, and Fournette and be sure to find a way to show your appreciation to the person who has been there for you since day one.
Martellus Bennett is back in New England. A day after the Green Bay Packers cut the tight end for his failure to disclose a medical condition, the Patriots claimed him off the waiver wire. Bennett, 30, returns to the team where he won a Super Bowl title with last season. Whether he’ll be able to play soon remains to be seen. A shoulder injury kept him out of Monday’s game between the Packers and Detroit Lions, and the Packers had ruled him out for their Sunday game against the Bears before they cut Bennett. Bennett had 701 receiving yards and seven touchdowns with the Patriots in 2016. With just 233 yards and no touchdowns off 24 catches in seven games with the Packers, Bennett openly hinted on Instagram last month that he was seriously considering retirement at the end of the season. It remains to be seen what exact role coach Bill Belichick envisions for Bennett once he’s healthy enough to suit up.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday denied Ezekiel Elliott’s and the NFL Players Association’s request for an injunction pending appeal in Elliott’s case. The Cowboys running back is set to begin serving his six-game suspension Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. The decision almost certainly keeps Elliott off the field for the next six games. Elliott currently is not eligible to play until Week 16 against the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 24. The NFLPA’s expedited appeal hearing is scheduled to take place before the 2nd Circuit on Dec. 1, meaning Elliott will almost certainly miss the next four games. In addition, a decision on the appeal likely wouldn’t come immediately, and Elliott would stay suspended. The decision to not grant a preliminary injunction comes after a lower court denied the same request last month, reinstating Elliott’s suspension briefly before a stay was issued by the 2nd Circuit. There have been five court hearings in the case since early September. A U.S. District Court judge in Texas initially put the suspension on hold before it was reinstated by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The suit then moved to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York — the NFL’s preferred venue based mostly on the favorable precedent established there by the Tom BradyDeflategate case. A judge reinstated Elliott’s eligibility for two games before another judge’s ruling suspended Elliott again, prompting the union’s appeal to the 2nd Circuit. Until today’s ruling, the second-year running back hasn’t missed a game this season for the Cowboys. Elliott, who tallied a league-best 1,631 rushing yards en route to a First Team All-Pro selection as a rookie, sits second in NFL rushing this season with 783 yards. He’s tied with Todd Gurley for most rushing touchdowns (7) in 2017.