Photo credit: Mitchell Leff / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
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Veteran defensive end Chris Long is hanging up his cleats after 11 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams (8), New England Patriots (1), and Philadelphia Eagles (2). This is tough for the Eagles because they’ll lose a player who’s usually good for five or six sacks a year.
Keep in mind Michael Bennett is no longer in the picture either so it’s not the best time for this team to lose Long. However it’s was an overwhelmingly successful career for the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long and he definitely lived up to expectations. With 70 career sacks, 2 Lombardi Trophies, and a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award most people dream of putting together such an epic run. Chris Long was a first class human being off the field and once game day arrived he was a terror. You have to remember this guy was drafted with the number 2 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. He was one of the top edge rushers in the country while at the University of Virginia and then for 11 seasons he pinned his ears back and hammered opposing quarterbacks. On film you immediately notice that Long was always lined up at left end and bulldozing through offensive tackles. Based off what we saw a year ago he’s still got some gas in the tank but Long wanted to get out of the sport sooner rather than later. The timing of everything makes sense because training camp is right around the corner. After playing football at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels it’s very possible Long was burned out and ready to move on in life. We’ve haven’t heard what his plans are but there’s no doubt that playing in the NFL has opened some doors for Chris Long.
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The Eagles defense will take a hit after Chris Long announces his retirement.