Eagles’ Long says he’s retiring after 11 seasons


PHILADELPHIA — Eagles defensive end Chris Long, the reigning Walter Payton Man of the Year, is calling it a career after 11 seasons.

Long made the announcement Saturday night on social media, along with a photo of a red cup in his hand and the mountains in the distance.

The Eagles released a statement congratulating Long and saying, “He will always be part of the Eagles family.”

“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,” the Eagles said in the statement. “There’s no question that his work ethic combined with his unique talent made him into one of the greatest of this era’s professional athletes. We’re very thankful Chris chose to play for the Philadelphia Eagles.”

Long was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft and spent his first eight seasons with the Rams. He went on to win two Super Bowl titles, with the New England Patriots in 2016 and with the Eagles in 2017.

Long, 34, spent much of the offseason weighing whether to retire or play another season. He made it clear that his role would need to be right if he were to return for a 12th NFL season.

Long wanted ample opportunity to get after the quarterback. With Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett slated to be the Eagles’ starters and defensive tackle Malik Jackson likely to stay on the field on third down, Long’s playing time in pass-rushing situation would have been more limited than he would have liked.

“It’s kind of like at the amusement park, when they click that seat belt on, the roller coaster going — you can’t get out. There’s no quitting,” Long told ESPN earlier this offseason. “Some guys might think differently, but when you’re in, you’re in, so I want to make sure I’m in. I think most players need to do that, and I’m just honest about it. Maybe some guys just aren’t telling the truth. But it’s all about the situation for me. I know I can still play. I think I played well, especially in the second half of the year this year, once I got healthy and I got more snaps, so we’ll see.”

Long finished his career with 70 sacks.

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