Long announced his retirement from the NFL via Twitter on Saturday. Long has made it clear throughout the offseason he was contemplating hanging up his cleats, as he even agreed to have the date for his $1 million roster bonus pushed back to the first day of training camp. The 34-year-old finishes his career with a pair of Super Bowl rings, 332 tackles, 70 sacks and 15 forced fumbles across 11 seasons with the Rams, Patriots and Eagles.
Long agreed to move his $1 million roster bonus to the first day of training camp as he continues to contemplate retirement, Field Yates of ESPN reports. This move effectively puts a deadline in place for Long to make a decision on his future in football. After racking up 6.5 sacks as a 33-year-old in 2018, Long proved he still has some usefulness as a rotational pass rusher.
Long remains undecided about his NFL future, Martin Frank of The Delaware News Journal reports. The 34-year-old defensive end turned down a roster bonus in March, allowing him more time to make a decision on retirement. Long showed he still has something left with 6.5 sacks in 2018, but he now seems to have some concerns about his role and/or compensation. The Eagles are in a good position to withstand the potential loss, considering they have Derek Barnett (shoulder), Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry at defensive end, while defensive tackles Fletcher Cox (foot) and Malik Jackson provide a strong pass rush inside.
Long agreed to restructure his contract with the Eagles, but he hasn't made a decision on continuing his football career, Zack Rosenblatt of The Newark Star-Ledger reports. Long was reportedly due a roster bonus, but he didn't feel comfortable accepting it until he decided on whether he'll play in 2019, per Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. He'll celebrate his 34th birthday in late March, coming off a 2018 campaign with 23 tackles, 6.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in 16 games (612 snaps). The Eagles could use another season from Long after trading fellow defensive end Michael Bennett to the Patriots.
Long generated 23 tackles, 6.5 sacks and two forced fumbles over 16 games for the Eagles in 2018. Long continues to look like a great find for Philly since the team brought the then-32-year-old over from New England prior to the 2017 season. Playing in a rotational role behind a number of other talented defensive linemen, Long largely is able to focus on rushing the passer and, in turn, has racked up more combined sacks over the previous two seasons than he had in any two-season stretch since his prime days with the Rams. The 2008 first-rounder remains under contract with the Eagles through the 2019 campaign.
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