The Philadelphia Eagles and veteran defensive end Chris Long have reached an agreement on a two-year deal, the team announced on Tuesday.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) March 28, 2017
Long also confirmed he was heading to Philly for the 2017 season.
I'm ready to work!!! #FlyEaglesFly
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) March 28, 2017
The Eagles finished this past season tied for 16th in sacks with 34. Their inability to consistently get pressure on the quarterback with their front four — a must in defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s system — held the unit back. The front office opted to part ways with starting defensive end Connor Barwin this offseason, furthering the need to add to the position.
“We’ve always admired his level of play,” Howie Roseman, the Eagles’ executive vice president of football operations, said of Long. “And when you turned on the tape and watched him, he’s a pleasant surprise, the way he plays, and it really fits what we’re trying to bring and build in Philly.
“… When we were able to get a guy who brings a lot of the same qualities [as Barwin] on and off the field and things that we value, we thought that it made us better not only now, but the legacy he can have going forward to the players on our team.”
The 6-foot-3, 270-pound Long had signed a one-year contract with the Patriots on March 18, 2016, choosing New England primarily for the chance to compete for a Super Bowl championship after never having been a part of a winning season in the first eight years of his career with the Rams.
He announced before the start of free agency that he wouldn’t be returning to the Patriots.
Long played in all 16 regular-season games for the Patriots, as well as all three playoff games, opening the year as a starter and finishing as a situational pass-rusher.
Long totaled 35 tackles and four sacks in the regular season. In Super Bowl LI, he made the most of his 15 defensive snaps played, drawing a critical holding penalty that helped push the Falcons out of field goal range when they had been in position to kick a field goal late and possibly increase their lead to 11 points.
Long, 32, brought a level of professionalism to New England that earned him widespread respect among teammates in the locker room.