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Chris Long announces his retirement from the NFL

We’ll miss this guy.

NFL: Super Bowl LIII-New England Patriots vs Los Angeles Rams Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like Chris Long is officially calling it a career. The Philadelphia Eagles defensive end tweeted the following message on Saturday evening:

I type “seems” because I can’t entirely discount the possibility this is some kind of troll job that Long is trying to pull off. (UPDATE: It’s not a troll job, sadly.)

But all signs leading up to this point have indicated retirement is the most likely option for Long. He’s repeatedly stated he still has interest in playing but not if he’s not going to have the role he desires. Long previously said the Eagles explicitly told him he wouldn’t be playing as much in 2019.

And so it looks like this is the end of the road for the 34-year-old Long. He’s had hell of a career after entering the league as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. He finishes his NFL career with 333 total tackles, 70 sacks, 15 forced fumbles, and one defensive touchdown. He won two Super Bowl titles along with the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

Long will always be a legend in Philly for helping the Eagles win their first Super Bowl. He sparked the biggest play in Lincoln Financial Field history when he pressured Case Keenum into throwing a game-changing pick six to Patrick Robinson during the 2018 NFC Championship Game.

Of course, Long won’t just be remembered for being a great football player. We’ll also remember him as a guy who donated his entire 2017 salary to charitable causes. And that’s just a small example of what makes him so great.

Long’s retirement means the Eagles will save $5.3 million in cap space (compared to $300,000 in dead money). It also means they could afford to add some veteran depth at defensive end (click here for options), unless they’re simply relying on their young guys. The Eagles have a solid trio of pass rushers in Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, and Vinny Curry but it’s unclear who can be counted on beyond those three. Josh Sweat, Shareef Miller, Daeshon Hall, and Joe Ostman have yet to prove themselves in the league.

It’s really a bummer Long won’t be back with the Eagles this season. He was still playing at a high level in 2018 (sixth most quarterback hits in the NFL) and he’s a great presence to have on the team. But we certainly respect his decision and we’ll always love him forever.

Best wishes in retirement, Chris.


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