Defensive end Chris Long figures to remain with Philadelphia Eagles


It’s a safe bet to figure Chris Long into the Philadelphia Eagles plans for the 2018 season.

Defensive end Chris Long wasn’t drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. Most didn’t even have him on their radar when most of us began discussing the NFL Free Agency period a season ago. Fans got a gift on HIS birthday, of all days, when the Eagles signed him to a two-year deal on March 28, 2017.

The plan was he’d rotate in from time to time in Philly’s suddenly-deep defensive end rotation. Most didn’t know how big of a role he’d play. Some asked if he’d play at all once Derek Barnett was taken 14th-overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, but Long worked hard and showed everybody that there was plenty left in the tank.

You have to keep these types of guys around. Don’t you?

Pressure comes with being the son of an NFL Hall of Fame inductee. Chris’ father is NFL great Howie Long. We learned early that he took after his father’s athleticism. Eagles fans, who weren’t as familiar with Long as some of the fans in the rest of the country, would learn something else during the 2017 season. Long was an even better person.

He was very active in efforts to help repair his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia following the tragedy that occurred there. Then, he decided to donate his salary to charity.

Being a good person isn’t always a reason to keep someone on an NFL roster, but it helps. It’s an even bigger bonus if that player is one heck of a football player. Check both boxes for Long.

Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles /

Philadelphia Eagles

Let’s take one more look at Long’s spectacular first season with the Eagles.

In the 2017 regular season, while playing in a reserve role and sharing time with the likes of the aforementioned Barnett, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry and Steven Means, Long still managed to add 28 total tackles, five sacks and four forced fumbles to an already spectacular resume.

What Eagles fan will ever forget his sack and strip of Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers or his sack and strip of Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams? In Week 4, the play on Rivers set up the game’s opening touchdown. By forcing the change of possession against the Rams, a game-clinching field goal by kicker Jake Elliott was the result.

Then, in the NFC Championship, he had a very key fumble recovery and that assist on the Patrick Robinson interception.

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He may not have always forced the action, but he always seemed to find his way to the football (or the post-play interception). Long has long earned his wings (pun intended), and per a very reliable source, Peter King on his Monday Morning Quarterback column, the Eagles have every intention of bringing him back in 2018.

That’s a very good idea.