Chris Long has decided to call it a career.
The immensely talented defensive end announced his retirement on Saturday after 11 seasons in the NFL. Long, 34, spent eight seasons with the then St. Louis Rams before rounding out his career with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles.
Cheers. Been a hell of a journey. Eleven years and I can honestly say I put my soul into every minute of it. Highs and lows. I’ve seen them both and I appreciate the perspective. Gratitude and love to those who lifted me up. pic.twitter.com/Ap8zi73Ifl
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) May 19, 2019
Chris Long Retiring After 11 Seasons in NFL
“When you look at everything Chris Long accomplished as a player and person, it’s easy to see how fortunate we’ve been to have him on our team,” the Eagles said in a team release. “Chris was everything that we thought he was and even more — not only as a great player for our football team but also in the community. There aren’t many players who can say they won back-to-back Super Bowls and the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award. He accomplished both with class and grace.”
Long’s professional career began with the Rams who drafted him with the second overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft. He made an instant impact as a rookie, starting all 16 games and recording four sacks and 10 tackles for loss. His tenure with the Rams finished with him tallying 54.5 sacks which currently ranks sixth in franchise history.
After getting released by the Rams in 2015, Long signed a one-year deal with the Patriots. He made seven starts during the regular season and was part of a critical play that, perhaps indirectly, made the Pats epic comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI possible. With less than four minutes remaining in the game and Atlanta leading 28-20, Jake Matthews was called for a holding penalty on Long which negated a play which would’ve put them in position to kick what would’ve been a game-sealing field goal.
A free agent once again the following off-season, Long signed a two-year deal with the Eagles. His first season in Philly saw him face his former team in Super Bowl LII. But once again, he came out on the winning end as the Eagles were able to dispatch the Patriots by a 41-33 scoreline. He joined teammate LeGarrette Blount in accomplishing the rare feat of winning consecutive Super Bowl rings with two different teams.
Long’s work in the community is exemplary. He donated his entire 2017 salary to charity and has been committed to the cause of improving education in American schools. The NFL rewarded him for his efforts by naming him the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2018.