Chris Long ponders retirement, returning to Eagles

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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Eagles longtime defensive end Chris Long is coming off a productive season.

While he's not coming off a Super Bowl victory like the campaign prior, one similarity remains.

Long contemplated retirement after the 2017 season, just as he is now. And if he returns, he'll likely find himself in the same predicament next year around this same time.

"At the end of the day, the itch is still here, I still love playing on Sunday," Long told Marks & Reese on 94WIP on Friday. "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."

Long just finished his 11th NFL season and he'll be 34 in March. He's entering the final season of his contract, due to make a $3.5 million salary after tallying 6.5 sacks with 23 tackles and a pair of forced fumbles.

Much of the offseason for Philadelphia so far has been concentrated on the quarterback situation with coach Doug Pederson having deemed Carson Wentz the team's starter going forward while Philly hero Nick Foles is likely moving on.

But Long, who began his career in 2008 with the St. Louis Rams, played one season with the Patriots in 2016 and now has two years under his belt with the Eagles, could add another hiccup. His 6.5 sacks were his most since registering 8.5 in 2013, so he's not exactly slowing down yet.

Despite his age, he hasn't missed a game over the last three seasons, though he's only started one of 32 games of regular season action in Philadelphia.

So it goes that the Eagles have a decision to make and so too does Long.

"I'd like to play football in 2019," he said. "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."

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