Patriots free agent Chris Long has left for greener pastures, joining the Philadelphia Eagles on a one year deal worth $2.4 million.
The 32-year-old defensive end won his first Super Bowl with the Patriots, appearing in every game and playing 65 percent of the snaps during the 2015 season.
While parting ways after one year, Long maintains that he and the Patriots left it on good terms.
“It wasn’t any bad blood,” Long said in his first press conference in Philadelphia, “Just football-wise, it was more about finding a positive, and the positive for me, the thing I enjoy the most is playing in a situation that allows me to be proud of what I put on the field every Sunday. Pretty quickly after the season I was able to be straight up with the coaches there, who I admire a lot, that I was probably going to look to go elsewhere.”
Going from New England to Philadelphia is an interesting move to make, but Long claims that former Eagle and current Los Angeles Ram, Connor Barwin, convinced him that the birds of Philly were a perfect fit for the newly crowned Super Bowl champion defensive end.
“When Connor [Barwin] was asking me about L.A. –I never played in L.A. but I know the organization – I was like, ‘Well, I’ll give you some information if you give me some information.’ Because being a free agent, you’re really flying blind a lot of times,” Long stated. “Connor helped me a lot to learn about the city. He had nothing but awesome things to say about the city, the organization, the coaches, the players … so that’s a real great thing to have.”
After winning his first championship in Foxborough, Long and his camp may have been surprised by the slow market for his services, which once again puts Long in a mindset to prove that he is still a very capable defensive end.
“I feel like I have a lot left, I really do,” Long said. “There was a time when I was injured and playing really bad and cut, rightfully so, that I wasn’t sure what my future in football was. But I was really lucky to take that step and for Coach [Bill] Belichick to take a chance on me, and I found out that I still had a lot in the tank.”