USA Today Sports

Jernigan posts cryptic message on social media

Eliot Shorr-Parks
May 14, 2019 - 5:30 am

Eagles defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan sure seems to be upset about something. 

The question is what?

Jernigan took to Instagram on Friday, posting the following two pictures with a strong, cryptic message on them. 


"I would hate to pull a Telvin on these folks I jus want my respect...period"


The message appears to be a reference to Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith, who shockingly decided earlier this week to announce he is sitting out the 2019 season. Smith cited personnal reasons as to why he isn't playing. 

Jernigan, however, seems to be hinting at something else. 

Here are some thoughts on what it could be mean:

1) Personal life: As with any social media post, it is possible it has absolutely nothing to do with football, and this is about something going in Jernigan’s personal life. That is certainly a possibility. Still, Jernigan is a smart guy, and he had to know that posting such a cryptic message would be looked at as having to do with the Eagles. Also, a tried-and-true reality when it comes to athlete’s social media posts — if it seems like it means something, it almost always does. 

2) Shot at Eagles: The mention of “Telvin” Smith sure seems to be a strong indication that the post is about football, considering how topical Smith is right now. Even though Smith is apparently taking a year off because of personal reasons, he still stepped away from his team, and Jernigan’s post can easily be interrupted as him threatening to do the same — something he presumably wouldn’t do if he was happy.  

3) Money: If Jernigan isn’t happy with the Eagles, what could the reasoning be? Money is almost always the first (and best) guess when it comes to why professional athletes are upset with the team they play for. Jernigan, however, just signed his deal after sitting unemployed in free agency for over a month. Considering Jernigan was going to make far more money I his previous deal prior to being released by the Eagles, it is easy to understand why he would be upset with his current deal. Since he signed with the Eagles, however, it is fair to assume they offered him the best deal. Money doesn’t feel like the reasoning behind this post by Jernigan. 

4) Role: If it isn’t money, could it be his role? Jernigan knew he wouldn’t be the starter when he signed, as he it should have been pretty clear he was going to be sitting behind both Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson. Jernigan could assume, however, he was going to be the top backup. Is it possible another move is coming that is going to impact Jernigan, and this is a precursor to the announcement of that move? Signing another big-name player at defensive tackle that would take snaps from Jernigan could certainly be viewed by him as a sign of disrespect — and could be the reason Jernigan decided to vent on social media. 

You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at!