Chris Long explains to Patriots fans why he won't re-sign with New England
The pass rusher joined the Patriots for a season and won a Super Bowl
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!
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.
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