Chris Long explains to Patriots fans why he won't re-sign with New England

Longtime Rams defensive end Chris Long took a pay cut last offseason to join the Patriots for the chance to win a Super Bowl. That move obviously worked out, as the Patriots overcame a 25-point deficit to win Super Bowl LI. Now, after just one season in New England in which he earned $2,375,000, Long is ready to move on.

On Wednesday, Long, who will skip the Patriots’ trip to the White House, announced that he will not be re-signing with New England. He’s going to enter free agency, though he says it has nothing to do with making more money. 

He explained in an Instagram post, writing:

Thank you, Pats Nation. As a player you’ve given so much support to, I owe you an explanation as to why I’ll be moving on in free agency ... even if it isn’t a big deal. 


This year and this opportunity gave me a ton. I made lifelong friends in a great locker room and became a champion. I’m so thankful that Coach [Bill Belichick] (the GOAT) took a chance on me and allowed me the opportunity to play a small part in this wonderful year. 


This has zero to do with money, etc. It’s the right move in my heart because I want to get back to being the player I was before. I’m thankful for my role this year, but as a competitor, I’m itching to do what I do best.

It was important to say thank you personally. You may not remember me much, but I’ll always remember y’all!

Thank you Pats Nation. As a player you've given so much support to, I owe you an explanation as to why I'll be moving on in FA... even if it isn't a big deal. This year and this opportunity gave me a ton. I made lifelong friends in a great locker room and became a champion. I'm so thankful that Coach B (the GOAT) took a chance on me and allowed me the opportunity to play a small part in this wonderful year. This has zero to do with money, etc. It's the right move in my heart because I want to get back to being the player I was before. I'm thankful for my role this year, but as a competitor, I'm itching to do what I do best. It was important to say thank you personally. You may not remember me much, but I'll always remember y'all!! #driveforfive #missionaccomplished

A post shared by Chris Long 🆑⚡️ (@laflamablanca95) on

So it sounds like Long, 31, wants to play a bigger role with whichever team he signs. He appeared in all 16 games with the Patriots, recording four sacks, but according to the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin, Long was only on the field for roughly 60 percent of the Patriots’ snaps. 

Since he entered the league in 2008, Long has racked up 58.5 sacks, but injuries have limited his production in recent years. That’s what makes his comments somewhat puzzling.

Can Long still serve as a top pass rusher? Based on his words above, we’ll find out this year.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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