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Julio Cortez | AP Photo

Mission accomplished.

Chris Long came to the New England Patriots on a one-year, $2.35 million contract in hopes of winning a Super Bowl, and he did just that.

But the veteran defensive end took to Instagram on Wednesday to explain why he would be leaving the team after just one season.

“This has zero to do with money. It’s the right move in my heart,” Long said, “Because I want to get back to being the player I was before. I’m thankful for my role this year, but as a competitor, I’m itching to do what I do best.”

A post shared by Chris Long 🆑⚡️ (@laflamablanca95) on

Long seems to be searching for a defensive system in which he can play a more prominent role. Before coming to New England, he spent his first eight years with the St. Louis Rams where he became one of the best pass-rushers of the league.

This past season, he played in all 16 regular-season games and all three playoff games, tallying 35 tackles and four sacks. He began the year as a starter and ended as a situational pass-rusher.

Long ended his Instagram post with, “It was important for me to say thank you personally. You may not remember me much, but I’ll always remember y’all!! #driveforfive #missionaccomplished.”

Follow Megan on Twitter: @carnahanmegan

Megan Carnahan 3/02/2017 08:36:00 AM Edit
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