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Eagles DE Chris Long says decision to retire was ‘complicated’

Chris Long

Much to the chagrin of the city of Philadelphia, Eagles defensive lineman Chris Long announced his retirement from the game of football on Saturday, and it was not an easy decision.

“I learned to never make a decision based on just one thing,” said Long, according to Peter King of NBC Sports. “The decision to retire was complicated. It was based on health, which is still very good, and family, we have two small children, and football fit, which includes a chance to win and my role and geography.”

Long added that he simply did not think he would have gotten enough playing time in Philadelphia, which would have made it difficult for him to consistently produce:

 “I love Philadelphia. But as a player I learned the most important thing to me is Sunday, and having a chance to be a big part of it,” said Long. “It seemed like player-coach was kind of the role that was going to be carved out for me—maybe playing 10, 12, 15 plays a game. I’m a rhythm player. I need to set people up, I need to be in the flow of the game. If I sit on the bench for three series, I can’t get rhythm, and I’ll get cold and maybe I’ll hurt myself.”

The 34-year-old is coming off of a 2018 campaign in which he played all 16 games and finished with 23 tackles, 6.5 sacks and a couple of forced fumbles.

Long had spent the final two seasons of his career with the Eagles, winning a Super Bowl during the 2017-18 campaign. It actually marked his second straight Super Bowl title, as he also won a ring with the New England Patriots the preceding season.

The University of Virginia product, who played for the St. Louis Rams for most of his career, leaves the game with 70 sacks.