Before this year's NFL free agency period even began, New England Patriots defensive edge Chris Long announced that he would not return to the team. After only one season with the Patriots, during which he experienced not only his first winning season but also won the Super Bowl, the veteran wanted to be used more as a pure pass rusher.
However, free agency started slow for Long. With the Patriots not re-signing the unrestricted free agent, more than two weeks passed until Long found a new home. Today, on his 32nd birthday, the veteran found a new home. According to Mike Garofolo, Long has agreed to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles:
And to put a bow on it, DE Chris Long has agreed to terms with the Eagles, source says.
Shortly after Garofolo's report, Long confirmed it by tweeting the following:
I'm ready to work!!! #FlyEaglesFly
Long will add depth and experience to an Eagles team that has opted to release veteran edge defender Connor Barwin earlier this month. Last season, he registered 4.0 sacks and 36 tackles while being a rotational member of the Patriots' defensive edge depth chart.
The Patriots, in the meantime, will replace Long's production in part with offseason acquisition Kony Ealy. New England traded down eight draft spots to get the former Carolina Panther, and will hope that he becomes as productive a member of the Patriots' defense as Long was.