|Julio Cortez | AP Photo|
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.”
Thank you Pats Nation. As a player you've given so much support to, I owe you an explanation as to why I'll be moving on in FA... even if it isn't a big deal. This year and this opportunity gave me a ton. I made lifelong friends in a great locker room and became a champion. I'm so thankful that Coach B (the GOAT) took a chance on me and allowed me the opportunity to play a small part in this wonderful year. This has zero to do with money, etc. It's the right move in my heart 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. It was important to say thank you personally. You may not remember me much, but I'll always remember y'all!! #driveforfive #missionaccomplished
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.”
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