Late For Work 3/27: Trading Timmy Jernigan Is 'Unlikely,' And Here's Why ...

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Trading Timmy Jernigan Is 'Unlikely,' And Here's Why …

Rumors about the Ravens putting defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan on the trading block swirled over the weekend.

Would it make sense?

ESPN's Jamison Hensley says not for anything less than a fourth-round pick, which he adds is "unlikely."

The rumor started Friday with Mike Lombardi, a former personnel executive who worked with Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome in Cleveland and also worked the last two years (2015-2016) as an assistant to the New England Patriots' coaching staff.

"I hear they're talking about moving Jernigan. I think Jernigan is a fabulous player, but they can't afford to sign him," Lombardi said on the podcast, "The Ringer NFL Show."

"I think Timmy Jernigan is the next guy. Jernigan's going to command a huge salary and is really one of their better defensive linemen. Does Ozzie Newsome want to trade him or does Ozzie Newsome feel like he can sign him? If he can't get him signed, does he trade him for say a third- or fourth-round pick as opposed to waiting for the compensatory or does he just hold on to him and play him for one year?"

Lombardi likened this to a Patriots-like move, where the Ravens can look down the road and realistically evaluate who they can afford to re-sign. After paying Brandon Williams a reported $52 million earlier this month, Lombardi says the domino effect will be that Jernigan, heading into a contract year, will make too much on the open market next offseason and be priced out of Baltimore.

So instead of waiting for the 2019 compensatory pick, the Ravens can get a pick now, and move forward with Williams and ascending undrafted second-year player Michael Pierce.

Lombardi says a team like the Jacksonville Jaguars could give up a third- or fourth-rounder and could afford to pay Jernigan big money to retain him after his rookie contract expires next March.

It all makes sense for the Ravens in theory, but Hensley just doesn't see it happening.

"All signs point to this being Jernigan's last season with the Ravens," Hensley wrote. "Baltimore probably wouldn't want to invest another big-money contract on the interior of its defensive line … It's just unlikely for this trade to occur. It would be surprising for a team to offer anything higher than a fifth-round pick after a recent report indicated no team is willing to give more than a fourth-round pick for the Jets' Sheldon Richardson, a former first-round pick and Pro Bowl defensive end. 

"For the Ravens, it makes no sense to part ways with Jernigan for anything less than a fourth-round pick because they can get a fifth- or sixth-round compensatory pick for him once he signs elsewhere after the upcoming season."

Or maybe even a higher pick, depending on Jernigan's next contract and playing time.

Hensley also says it might be worth waiting for the compensatory pick because 2017 figures to be Jernigan's best season yet as he auditions for a new contract and wants all 32 teams to see what he's capable of.

The Ravens can still get big production out of Jernigan at a low cost now. He's entering the fourth year of his rookie contract, which reportedly counts just $1.4 million against the cap.

"Next offseason, the Ravens' priority on defense will be extending Pro Bowl inside linebacker C.J. Mosley," Hensley wrote. "The Ravens likely know another team will be willing to spend more on Jernigan than them, and they can build the middle of their defensive line around Williams and Pierce.

"That's why trading Jernigan now would be a very Patriots-like move. But barring a deal that the Ravens can't refuse, the smart way to play it is to hold onto Jernigan, get the best out him in a contract year and wait for that compensatory pick in 2019."

Art Jones Shows Ravens Usually Make Right Call When Letting Free Agents Walk

Ravens 2010 fifth-round draft pick and Super Bowl starter Art Jones was released by the Indianapolis Colts Friday. He played in just 17 games over the last three years under a reported five-year, $30 million contract with $16 million guaranteed.

The Ravens have built a reputation for knowing when to let their drafted players walk for bigger deals, and three years after letting Jones go, that reputation is only strengthened.

"The Baltimore Ravens typically make the correct decision when it comes to their own free agents," wrote Hensley. "There was some criticism of Baltimore in 2014, when the team didn't re-sign Jones.

"The Ravens didn't miss Jones and essentially replaced him with Brandon Williams, who recently became the NFL's highest-paid nose tackle. After Jones left, the Ravens moved Haloti Ngata from nose tackle to defensive tackle and promoted Williams to the starting lineup."

Hensley said Jones "was never the same player" he was in Baltimore despite reuniting with former Ravens Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano. Jones had a hard time staying on the field with the Colts due to injuries.

Hensley reviewed nine other players the Ravens let walk via free agency from that Super Bowl team, including linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (Miami Dolphins), cornerback Corey Graham (Buffalo Bills), linebacker Paul Kruger (Cleveland Browns), tackle Michael Oher (Tennessee Titans), guard Kelechi Osemele (Oakland Raiders), safety Ed Reed (Houston Texans), wide receiver Torrey Smith (San Francisco 49ers) and cornerback Cary Williams (Philadelphia Eagles).

(Note that receiver Anquan Boldin and Ngata aren't included because they were traded and weren't free agents.)

Osemele is the only player among the group that has enjoyed "major success" after moving on, becoming an All-Pro guard for the Raiders. Outside of that, only McPhee remains with his new team, but a knee injury could force him to become a part-time player, says Hensley. Oher played well with his second team (Carolina Panthers) since leaving Baltimore, but has been in concussion protocol for six months.

"The Ravens watched two more homegrown players, offensive tackle Rick Wagner and fullback Kyle Juszczyk, leave this offseason," Hensley wrote. "Wagner signed a five-year, $47.5 million contract with Detroit, and Juszczyk reached a four-year, $21 million deal with San Francisco. It remains to be seen whether they can break free of what has been an awful track record for Ravens free agents who go elsewhere."

Released Ravens Remain On Open Market

After Baltimore released four players and withdrew two other contract tenders this last month, only one has found a new home, The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec pointed out.

Safety Marqueston Huff signed with the Kansas City Chiefs after his original-round restricted free agent tender was rescinded by the Ravens.

That leaves outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil and defensive backs Lardarius Webb, Shareece Wright, Kendrick Lewis and Jumal Rolle on the open market. There are also three unrestricted free-agent defensive backs the Ravens haven't re-signed, including Jerraud Powers, Matt Elam and Chris Lewis-Harris.

"The draft is a month away, and veterans want to have jobs before rookies are added to depth charts, so there is a developing sense of urgency among free agents and their representatives this week," wrote Zrebiec from the NFL owners meetings in Arizona.

Taco Charlton An Option At No. 16?

Michigan pass rusher Taco Charlton got some buzz after his Pro Day Friday, and Bleacher Report's Matt Miller has him mocked to the Ravens with their first-round pick.

Could Charlton go from one Harbaugh-coached team to another?

The Ravens could use another pass rusher after letting go of Elvis Dumervil, and Charlton recorded 9.5 sacks last season and has good size at 6-foot-6, 277 pounds.

"Charlton's draft stock is as up and down as it gets," wrote BaltimoreBeatdown.com's Logan Levy. "He has been mocked as high as 11 or even as low as 32. My biggest concern with Charlton is his body of work. He was only a one-year starter at Michigan.

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