The Philadelphia Eagles and Chris Long have agreed to push back the $1 million roster bonus he was set to receive today (Wednesday, May 1) until the first day veterans report for 2019 training camp, according to NFL insider Field Yates. This delay gives Long even more time to decide if he wants to retire or not.
Long hasn’t totally closed the door shut on returning to the Eagles. But based on what he’s said recently, it seems like he’s leaning towards not coming back to Philly in 2019. Long told the Eagles to “plan like I won’t be back.” He also tweeted these things last week:
Putting Long aside, the Eagles currently have Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry, Josh Sweat, Daeshon Hall, and Joe Ostman under contract at defensive end. The team also selected Penn State edge rusher Shareef Miller with a fourth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Eagles could really afford to add Long to their current group of pass rushers but it sounds like they’re not offering him the role that Long desires. And so retirement seems like the more likely option, unless Long changes his mind.
There’s always the possibility the Eagles could look to trade Long to a landing spot he’s comfortable with. But it’s unclear if that option is really in play.
If they’re sure that Long won’t be back, the Eagles could look to sign another pass rusher in free agency. Ezekiel Ansah, for example, is still on the market and signing him after May 7 won’t impact Philadelphia’s compensatory pick formula.
The first day that veterans report for Eagles training camp will be at some point in late July or early August. We’ll find out more about Long’s decision by then.
UPDATE: Long tweeted some more stuff today.
I haven’t said a word today. Anyone w this take is an exceptional kind of stupid. I’ve made a decision. I told them IN MARCH to proceed like I won’t be back when I was told my *2018* role was gone. DE signings, the draft don’t affect it. I won’t be back unless a real need arises. https://t.co/dFW42D7Kcg— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) May 1, 2019
Stop saying I want a bigger role. Read better. I wanted the chance @ the same role. It’s gone. I don’t write these articles you read ONLY the headline of. I don’t want your attention. Read my game of thrones column. That’s what I want. Pay attention to that.— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) May 1, 2019
May 1, 2019