Why is Chris Long thinking about leaving the Philadelphia Eagles?
There might not be another situation as frustrating as this one for both, Philadelphia Eagles fans and veteran defensive end, Chris Long. Two years ago, the long-time veteran wrapped up year number ten with a second consecutive Super Bowl victory. As he had the opportunity to go out on top and retire as a champion, Long decided to return to Philadelphia for another year, as he was on contract to do so anyway.
Long played throughout the entire 2018 season, and he played well. But now the eleven-year veteran is seriously contemplating retirement or even a requested release as he might want to find a different role elsewhere. No, Long doesn’t want more playing time, as he’s been a rotational defensive end for the last two years.
And he certainly doesn’t want a raise in pay as Michael Bennett did. Chris Long simply wants to ensure he’s going to get a fair amount of snaps throughout the year, or else he wants to end his time with the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s a simple situation that many fans in and outside of Philadelphia are having a difficult time grasping. So the always vocal veteran took to his Twitter to explain the situation once and for all.
A look at the timeline
Let’s run through the timetable really quick; Last month, the Eagles decided to offer Long up with a restructure in his contract, which transfers salary money into a bonus so he can collect it now and they can free up cap space. Knowing that he may not return next season, Long didn’t want to take the money just yet. So he told the Eagles and the public that if he decides to return to Philly, he will gladly accept the restructure. However, he won’t do it now as he is still on the fence.
Chris Long has been leaving fans impatient for his decision, but he’s been very upfront with the Eagles. He told them to go into the 2019 NFL Draft thinking that he won’t return. In other words, find my replacement now, so you don’t get screwed over later. The Eagles did in fact, draft a defensive end in Shareef Miller – but that was to expected anyway.
What’s going on now?
Now fast forward to May 1st, when Chris Long has a bonus due, thanks to his contract. Many expected him to make his final decision, but instead, the Eagles pushed back the bonus to the first day of mandatory mini-camp for veterans, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. As many are still misunderstanding Long’s perspective on the situation, he explained it once again on Wednesday.
“I told them [Eagles] in March to proceed like I won’t be back when I was told my 2018 role was gone,” Long tweeted out in reference to a fan questioning his delay on making a decision. As many believe Long is searching for a starting role, that simply isn’t the case. Last year, Long was present for roughly 58-percent of the Eagles’ defensive snaps. Apparently, the Eagles anticipate decreasing that percentage in 2019, which caused Long to have a change of heart in returning.
He doesn’t want more money, his salary and bonuses are more than enough. Chris Long also isn’t looking to out-snap guys like Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett. He wants roughly around 60-percent of the snaps once again, and that’s just not going to happen, according to the defensive end. So barring any drastic last-minute changes, it sure sounds like Long isn’t planning on being back in Philly. However, he hasn’t confirmed anything just yet. The waiting game contiues.