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Chris Long says he’s leaning on returning to Philadelphia Eagles in 2018

Great news.

NFL: NFC Championship-Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, reports emerged that the Philadelphia Eagles offered a raise to Chris Long to help convince him to return for the 2018 season. Shortly after that, it was reported that Long hasn’t actually accepted the offer yet and he’s still mulling his future.

But now we have word from Long himself. Speaking in an interview during an event for his Waterboys initiative in St. Louis on Wednesday night, Long said he is leaning on returning to the Eagles in 2018.

QUESTION: I read a story that the Eagles want you back, they’re wooing you, and they’re saying we’re going to guarantee your money [by] three or four times what you got last year.

CHRIS LONG: Yeah, well, they’re going to give me more money […] They feel bad because I gave my salary away [last season]. (joking)

No, but for me, at my age every year, it’s important to make a decision, and take self-inventory. Is your body there? Is your mind in it? Do you have the passion? Because it takes a lot. And for me, just every year, I’m a year at a time. From here on out. For however long I play.

Philly’s been awesome, like I said. They kind of adopted me as, like, family. So that definitely factors in to everything. And the chance to repeat [as Super Bowl champions].

I’m still supposedly “mulling it over,” but I’m leaning on going back and playing.

So yeah. I mean, I hadn’t even answered any questions about that but there you go.

In addition to Long saying this, the new contract that the Eagles offered him reportedly has been signed.

I guess it’s not officially official until Long and/or the Eagles make a public announcement about it, but for now it seems like Long is coming back to Philadelphia in 2018. And that’s great news because he was a very important contributor to the team’s Super Bowl success in 2017.

Regular season stats: 496 snaps, 20 tackles, 5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 14 QB hits, 33 QB hurries, 19 stops

Playoff stats: 92 snaps, 4 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 2 passes defensed, 6 QB hurries, 6 QB hits, 3 stops

Review: What a season it was for back-to-back Super Bowl champion Chris Long. He was a fantastic pickup for the Eagles as a rotational pass rusher off the bench. Long’s pressure rate ranked seventh out of 39 4-3 defensive ends. A number of his four strip-sacks came in key situations, such as when he knocked the ball out of Jared Goff’s hands to help the Eagles clinch the NFC East in Week 14. Long was also responsible for pressuring Case Keenum into throwing a pick six to Patrick Robinson in the NFC Championship Game. Clutch player. Long made a huge positive impact in the community by donating all of his game checks to education. What a guy. Long’s off-field efforts were rewarded with the highest honor the NFLPA can bestow upon a player: the Byron “Whizzer” White award.

Here’s to having Chris Long back for at least one more season!

UPDATE: More confirmation.

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(Hat tip to @tclackii on Twitter for this story.)