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Chris Long endorses Michael Bennett trade, says he doesn’t know if he’ll return to Eagles in 2018

Hear from the Eagles’ veteran defensive end.

NFL: Super Bowl LII-Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long recently spoke with SB Nation’s own Charlotte Wilder about his Waterboys charity and a number of other topics. Definitely go check out the entire interview, but I wanted to highlight two notable things here.

First, Long endorsed the Eagles’ trade for Michael Bennett.

Q: What are your thoughts on Philly taking on Michael Bennet as another defensive end?

CL: They asked me about Mike before the trade, because I know Mike. And I gave him a glowing recommendation, because I really do think Mike is an awesome dude and a great player. He’s been as good an inside/out rusher as I’ve seen in my time in the league, one of my favorite guys to watch. His age doesn’t matter as much, because he plays with great technique.

This reminds me of how LeGarrette Blount said the Eagles reached out to him before trading for Jay Ajayi. It’s nice to know the Eagles aren’t just blind-siding their players with these kind of surprising acquisitions.

Long knows Bennett from their former teams (Rams and Seahawks, respectively) playing against each other twice a year in the NFC West. Long also played with Michael’s brother, Martellus, with the New England Patriots in 2016.

It’s nice to know the Eagles checked in with some of their players before acquiring Bennett. Getting such a positive review from an honest guy like Long is encouraging, especially when there were questions about Bennett’s personality.

One of the other highlights from SB Nation’s interview with Long was about his playing plans in 2018. This answer seemed at least a little surprising.

Q: So are you going to go back to Philly next year?

CL: I don’t know yet. I’m working something out right now. At 32, you have limited time left to play the game you love, so the role has to be exactly right for me. I can still play at a high level, and I’m hungry to play, but every player my age has to weigh how they want to go out. The 25-year-old me would tell the 32-year-old me to take the two rings and go start the next chapter in life, but it’s never simple when you still have gas left in the tank. We’ll have to see what shakes out. So short answer, I have no idea. I love Philly though. The city would make it hard to walk away.

Long is currently under contract for the 2018 season. If he retires, the Eagles would save $1.95 million compared to $400,000 in dead money.

Long’s presence on the roster is worth more than extra cap space, though. The veteran pass rusher was fantastic for the Eagles in 2017. Long’s pressure rate ranked seventh out of 39 4-3 defensive ends. He was also a valuable voice in the Eagles’ locker room.

Earlier this week, Peter King reported that the Eagles plan to retain Long in 2018. King also said that Long intends to play another year.

And I’d be remiss not to mention what Long said about returning in 2018 right after the Eagles won the Super Bowl.

Hopefully that’s the case.

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