The starting defensive front of the Philadelphia Eagles will have some new faces on it this season. The latest addition is veteran Chris Long.
Under first-time NFL head coach Doug Pederson, the Philadelphia Eagles opened 2016 with three straight wins. But the club would drop nine of its final 13 contests. When it was all said and done, it proved to be a long year for the cellar-dwellers in the NFC East.
But it looks like 2017 will be a season that includes a Long. Via NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the Birds are in the process of signing defensive end Chris Long to a one-year contract. It’s a solid move for a team looking to add some depth along its front four. The second overall pick in the 2008 draft by the then-St. Louis Rams is a nice fit for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s 4-3 scheme.
After eight seasons and 54.5 sacks with the Rams, Long was released by the organization during the 2016 offseason. He would latch on with the New England Patriots, playing in all 16 games and making seven starts. The nine-year pro would total 35 tackles, four sacks and knocked down three passes. In the postseason, Long was much less of a factor and hit the free-agent market in March.
This is a solid addition to the Philadelphia defensive front, one that cut ties with end Connor Barwin while watching interior defender Bennie Logan sign with the Kansas City Chiefs. And the Super Bowl LI champion should be a positive influence on players such as Vinny Curry, Marcus Smith and three-year defensive tackle Beau Allen.