New England Patriots and free agent defensive end Chris Long have agreed to a one-year deal, per league sources. After spending seven seasons with the St. Louis Rams, Long will join Tom Brady & Co. in Foxborough.
On Tuesday night, Long tweeted his appreciation for the four-time Super Bowl champions, thanking the organization for giving him an opportunity to win a ring.
Earlier in the day, Patriots agreed to trade pass rusher Chandler Jones to Arizona Cardinals in exchange for guard Jonathan Cooper and a 2016 second-round pick. Overall, the Patriots have enjoyed a good off-season and take positive strides going into next season.
Long, drafted second overall by the Rams in 2008, has been plagued by a series of injuries over the last three seasons. Prior to his injury woes, Long won the NFL Alumni Lineman of the Year in 2011 and a plethora of Defensive Player of the Week awards until Week 11 of the 2013 season.
Both Long and Patriots are hoping for a fresh beginning. Last month, the Rams shockingly cut Long, following which the veteran defensive end took to Instagram. “Bottom line is this is a production business. No excuses, the last two years have been s—. It’s been painful to experience because I care deeply about my performance and responsibility to my teammates,” Long wrote in an emotional post, justifying St Louis’ decision to part ways with him.
During his seven-year stint with the Rams, Long started 95 of 114 games and compiled 54½ sacks, 41½ of which came between 2010 2013, which ranked fifth in the league. Patriots will be hoping that Long can regain some of that form.
Despite Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl victory, oddsmakers are giving the New England Patriots the best shot at winning Super Bowl 51 and win their fifth championship.