Eagles DE Chris Long Still Wants to Play But Doesn't Rule Out Retirement

Eagles defensive end Chris Long would like to continue his NFL career but hasn't yet ruled out the possibility of retirement. 

After the Eagles won Super Bowl LII, Long pondered retirement before deciding to return for his 11th NFL season, which was a productive one. But Long said that for the rest of his career, each offseason will be met with the same questions about his career. 

Long, who will turn 34 in late March, was on 94WIP on Friday afternoon and was asked about his football future going into this offseason.

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I'd like to play football in 2019. I thought I had a strong year and felt good physically. Listen, I know I'm an older guy. But, you know, I don't think I've missed a practice over the last two years. I feel like I've been durable and ready when called upon.

In 2018, Long played in all 16 regular-season games and both playoff games (he hasn't missed a game since signing here) and had a productive season. He had 6 1/2 sacks, his highest total since 2013, and two forced fumbles. Long has had six forced fumbles over the past two seasons.

After giving him a raise before last season, Long is under contract for the 2019 season with a salary of $3.5 million and a cap hit of $5.6 million. Sure, the Eagles have some salary cap gymnastics to perform this offseason, but that's not an outrageous amount of money for a productive pass rusher. And knowing Long, he'll just give away all of it to charity anyway.

At the end of the day, the itch is still there, I still love playing on Sunday. But as far as what happens, I'm literally just kind of sitting back and seeing what the Eagles do and who they bring in or don't bring in and how deep that room gets. But I'd still love to play. But at the end of the day at 33, I could go either way.

It makes sense that Long is going to kind of sit back and watch for a while this offseason. The Eagles have decisions to make on the defensive line. Michael Bennett is under contract for 2019, but Brandon Graham is set to be an unrestricted free agent and Howie Roseman just called this an extremely deep draft for defensive linemen.

Still, the Eagles would probably like to have Long back in 2019 and it's good news that he seems ready to lace up his cleats for one more season.

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