The Bears have become the latest team to exercise a fifth-year option for a member of the 2013 draft class.
The Bengals recently picked up the fifth-year option on Tyler Eifert, but outside of him and Long, there have been some interesting omissions. Barkevious Mingo likely will not get a fifth-year tag from the Browns and Cordarrelle Patterson could be waiting until the season starts. EJ Manuel will probably not get an option year and Datone Jones also could be in trouble. The 2013 draft was notoriously talent-starved with only five real difference-makers -- Long, Eifert, Ezekiel Ansah, Desmond Trufant and Lane Johnson -- going in the first 25 picks. Safety Kenny Vaccaro also had his option picked up by the Saints, and the Panthers have stated their intentions in keeping Star Lotulelei.
Teams have until May 3 to make a move.
The news on Long should not be surprising given that a fifth-year option is a no-brainer for even reasonably-productive first-round picks. The money is easy to wrangle out of if the team decides not to keep a player and the formula which creates the option salary is typically not egregious for the position. Long will probably sign a handsome new deal in Chicago at some point, but until he does, he can rest assured knowing that he'll be back for Year 5.