Kyle Long

Chiefs Reach 53-Man Limit

The two-time defending AFC champions pared their roster to 53 players Tuesday. Following some early cuts Monday, here are the rest of the moves the Chiefs made to get there:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on reserve/NFI list:

Placed on reserve/PUP list:

Long will miss the Chiefs’ first six games. The recently unretired offensive lineman suffered a knee injury in June. While Long was part of the Chiefs’ extensive offseason offensive line puzzle, the team made several moves to create O-line depth after its Super Bowl LV blocking debacle. Kansas City traded for left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., signed guard Joe Thuney and center Austin Blythe, and drafted center Creed Humphrey and guard Trey Smith. Long and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who opted out last year and came up in trade calls this week, are not expected to start but would stand to provide high-end depth on Kansas City’s retooled line.

 

The Chiefs took Powell in the fifth round. The Clemson alum would make sense as a practice squad candidate, but the Chiefs will run the risk of anther team claiming the rookie wideout and preventing such a scenario. Kansas City lost Sammy Watkins but returns the likes of Mecole Hardman, Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson as supporting-cast receivers.

Chiefs’ Kyle Long Suffers Knee Injury

4:25pm: Andy Reid said Thursday afternoon Long might need surgery on his latest injury. That said, Reid does not think the veteran blocker sustained ligament damage, per Sam McDowell of the Kansas City Star (Twitter links). This update makes Long’s setback sound a bit more serious, but avoiding ligament damage would be key for his chances at being ready for his new team by Week 1.

9:44am: Chiefs guard Kyle Long suffered a lower leg injury that could keep him out of training camp (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport). Fortunately, it doesn’t appear to be too serious. There’s a chance that Long could be ready by Week 1, even if he’s forced to sit out much of training camp and the preseason. 

[RELATED: Chiefs’ Charvarius Ward Signs Second-Round Tender]

Long joined the defending AFC champs on a one-year deal worth up to $5MM in March. Previous to that, the 2013 first-round pick spent his entire seven-year career with the Bears, earning three Pro Bowl appearances and a second-team All-Pro nod in 2014. However, he dealt with a long list of injuries between 2016 and 2019, averaging only 7.5 games per season over that four-year span. After being limited to only four games in 2019, Long announced his retirement last offseason. The Bears subsequently declined his option.

Now, he’s set to make his NFL return, once he’s healthy. He’s just one piece of the Chiefs’ revamped offensive line, starting a few spots over from fellow guard Joe Thuney and big-ticket acquisition Orlando Brown.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs To Sign OL Kyle Long

Kyle Long‘s comeback tour will see him joining the defending AFC champs. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the veteran offensive lineman is signing with the Chiefs. Long is signing a one-year deal worth up to $5MM.

The 2013 first-round pick had spent his entire seven-year career with the Bears, earning three Pro Bowl appearances and a second-team All-Pro nod in 2014. However, the offensive guard dealt with a long list of injuries between 2016 and 2019, averaging only 7.5 games per season over that four-year span. After being limited to only four games in 2019, Long announced his retirement last offseason. The Bears subsequently declined his option.

We learned earlier this month that the 32-year-old was eyeing a return to the NFL. If he can stay healthy, Long has a good chance of contributing with his new squad. The Chiefs have made revamping Patrick Mahomes‘ offensive line a priority this offseason, and they proved that by giving Joe Thuney a hulking five-year contract. The team was also mentioned as a potential suitor for Trent Williams before he re-signed with the 49ers.

The Raiders were also a suitor for Long’s services, a logical landing spot considering the player’s father, Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Longplayed his entire 13-year career with the Raiders. However, Vic Tafur of The Athletic tweets that Long’s visit with the organization didn’t necessarily go as planned. Some sources told the reporter that Long’s workout “didn’t go that well,” while others told Tafur that the free agent was “freaked out” by the organization’s decision to dump center Rodney Hudson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Kyle Long To Visit Raiders, Chiefs

We heard recently that Kyle Long was planning on playing in 2021, and now we know he’s serious about it. The recently un-retired offensive lineman will visit the Raiders and then Chiefs this week, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Schefter reports that Long will be in Las Vegas on Monday before heading to Kansas City. As he points out Long’s father, Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long, played his entire 13-year career with the Raiders, so this would be a cool continuation of a family legacy. Long retired in January of 2020, but one season away from the game was enough to satisfy his body.

Drafted 20th overall by the Bears in 2013, Long made the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons before injuries quickly derailed his career. Over the past four seasons he never appeared in more than 10 games for Chicago, and played only four most recently in 2019.

Now apparently fully healthy, he’s ready to get back on the gridiron, and both of these teams make sense as potential suitors. The Raiders just traded tackle Trent Brown, and cut guards Richie Incognito and Gabe Jackson in the past couple weeks, although Incognito may return on a cheaper deal. The Chiefs have made revamping Patrick Mahomes‘ offensive line a priority this offseason, and they’ve already cut both of their starting tackles and are expected to let their starting center walk.

Long has mostly played guard in the NFL, but did make the Pro Bowl while filling in as the Bears’ right tackle in 2015. It sounds like he could have numerous options to choose from during his first taste of free agency.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

OL Kyle Long To Return To NFL

On a busy day full of trades and franchise tag news, we’ve also got a player coming out of retirement. Offensive lineman Kyle Long is planning on returning to the NFL and has signed with an agent, his brother Chris Long confirmed on Twitter.

Long retired from the league in January of 2020, then admitted in July that he missed the game, but ultimately sat out the season. That one season away was apparently enough for him to feel re-fueled. The 20th pick of the 2013 draft, Long spent each of his seven seasons in the NFL with the Bears. He had immediate success, starting at least 15 games in each of his first three seasons and making the Pro Bowl in all of those years.

Injuries soon caused things to unravel, and over the following four seasons he never appeared in more than ten games. Still only 32 and capable of playing at a high level, Long should have no problem finding a home assuming he’s healthy. Hopefully the year off was enough to get his body right.

He’s mostly played guard, but also started 16 games and made the Pro Bowl at right tackle in 2015.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Notes: Adams, Johnson, Clowney, Long

Joe Douglas confirmed the Jets had trade talks with several teams regarding Jamal Adams but categorized the sweepstakes-winning Seahawks as the most aggressive suitor. The Jets and Seahawks began talking weeks ago, and Seattle’s two-first-rounders-and-change offer swayed Douglas from planning not to trade his All-Pro safety to pulling the trigger (Twitter links via SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano). Adams lobbed salvos at Douglas and Adam Gase, and when Douglas listened to offers for the decorated defender at last year’s trade deadline, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link) Adams reached out to several Cowboys players to inform them of his interest in going to Dallas. This irked Jets teammates, coaches and team brass. While Douglas said he wanted to make Adams a Jet for life earlier this year, the second-year GM said this week he never promised him a contract, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (on Twitter).

Here is the latest coming out of Jets headquarters:

  • Although the 49ers have made some big trades under their current power structure, John Lynch said they did not call the Jets about Adams, via NBC Sports Bay Area. However, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler reported (via Twitter) involved parties believed the Cowboys and 49ers were both involved in talks with the Jets for Adams. The 49ers, who joined the Cowboys on Adams’ list of preferred destinations, re-signed Jimmie Ward this offseason and have starter Jaquiski Tartt back as well.
  • New Jets safety Bradley McDougald said Jadeveon Clowney remains interested in a deal (Twitter link). The former No. 1 overall pick expressed Jets interest in April as well. The Jets were linked to Clowney in March but, despite an apparent need for pass-rushing help, are not believed to be interested in the three-time Pro Bowler. Adams finished as Gang Green’s second-leading sacker in 2019.
  • Douglas convinced Ryan Kalil to unretire and become the Jets’ starting center last season, so reports of him being in talks with recently retired guard Kyle Long earlier this year carried a bit more weight. But Douglas said those talks were merely friends catching up. Douglas spent 2015 in the Bears’ front office prior to leaving for Philadelphia. That said, Mehta notes the two indeed discussed Long unretiring. The Jets re-signed Alex Lewis and added Greg Van Roten to a guard group that includes longtime starter Brian Winters.
  • Amid larger headlines involving current U.S. ambassador to Great Britain Woody Johnson, the Jets owner was reported by CNN to have made racist and sexist comments during his time as an ambassador. Johnson has denied the allegations, which prompted a State Department investigation. Following the report, however, acting Jets owner Christopher Johnson called almost every player on Gang Green’s roster to listen to their concerns, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes.

Kyle Long Mulling NFL Return

Kyle Long hasn’t ruled out a return to the field. On Monday, the former Bears Pro Bowl guard said that he’s at least thinking about coming out of retirement.

[RELATED: Kyle Long Denies Talking To Jets]

Full transparency I miss football, but at what cost?,” Long tweeted. “[Still,] I’m most likely gonna be on golf courses instead of gridirons

Long also wrote, “I didn’t retire, I got fired.” The Bears declined Long’s option for 2020, moving on from him after yet another injury-shortened season.

Throughout his career, Long struggled with shoulder, tricep, ankle, and hip injuries. He missed 22 games over his last three seasons, between 2017 and 2019. But, when he was healthy, he was one of the NFL’s top offensive guards. He was top-five in the league in most years, per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics.

Now 31, Long has the itch to resume his career. He says he’ll probably work on his putting instead of his blocking, but he admits that the door is still open.

If the Jets want to welcome Long back to the NFL, they have the cap room to sign him. They currently have about $25MM in available dollars, money that could also be used for edge or cornerback help. Still, they’ve already made significant upgrades on the offensive line by adding first-round pick Mekhi Becton, plus veterans Connor McGovern, Greg Van Roten, and George Fant.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Kyle Long: I Haven’t Talked To The Jets

Kyle Long says he has not heard from the Jets about a potential return to the field (Twitter link via Rick Tarsitano of WGN). This contradicts a report from earlier today which indicated that the Jets were attempting to talk the former Bears offensive lineman out of retirement

[RELATED: Jets Hoping To Pull Kyle Long Out Of Retirement]

Long, 31, stepped away from the game after years of injury trouble. When Long was younger and healthy, he was one of the game’s best interior lineman. From 2013 through 2015 – Long’s first three years in the NFL – he was a perennial Pro Bowler. He was also an annual fixture on Pro Football Focus’ list of the top-ranked offensive guards in the league.

The Jets have made a serious effort to upgrade their offensive line this offseason and they have gone this route before, having just recently lured Ryan Kalil out of retirement. But, according to Long, that’s not the case here. With his 32nd birthday on the horizon in December, Long seems content with retirement.

According to Over The Cap, Long earned upwards of $37MM over the course of his seven-year career in Chicago – more than enough cash to ride out retirement. The Jets, meanwhile, have about $25MM in available cash that they can use to strengthen other areas of need.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Hoping To Pull Kyle Long Out Of Retirement

The Jets have spoken with former Bears guard Kyle Long about coming out of retirement, Manish Mehta of the Daily News hears. The former Pro Bowler would give the Jets a major boost on the front line and a potential replacement for incumbent right guard Brian Winters.

[RELATED: Jets Aren’t Interested In Jadeveon Clowney]

As Mehta notes, Joe Douglas has had success in this area before. Last year, he convinced Ryan Kalil to return to the field, and he believes he can also talk Long into playing again. Long, 31, dealt with shoulder, tricep, ankle, and hip injuries throughout his Bears career.

Long missed 22 games over his last three seasons, but he performed as one of the NFL’s top offensive guards when he was healthy. He was a nearly perennial Top 5 fixture in Pro Football Focus’ rankings and, as an added bonus, he also offers experience at tackle.

Long’s own level of interest is unclear. If he is willing to play again, the Jets will have to pony up a big chunk of their available $25MM in cap room. Meanwhile, there are still some glaring holes to address, including cornerback and edge rusher. If the Jets are serious about signing Logan Ryan, for example, they’ll have to budget carefully.

The Jets’ offensive line has already been overhauled this year. The new-look OL will feature first-round pick Mekhi Becton, plus newcomers Connor McGovern, Greg Van Roten, and George Fant. Between the three free agent deals and the re-signing of Alex Lewis, the Jets dropped $80MM to beef up the unit.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

North Notes: Ravens, Elliott, Bears

The Ravens lost another safety Sunday, with DeShon Elliott going down in the team’s win over the Bengals. Like Tony Jefferson last week, Elliott looks to be facing a season-ending malady – head coach John Harbaugh expects the second-year defender to miss the rest of the season.

With Baltimore down to third-year player Chuck Clark and veteran backup Anthony Levine, Harbaugh said the Ravens looking for outside help at safety is now “very possible,” per Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com (on Twitter). A 2018 sixth-round pick, Elliott missed all of his rookie season due to injury as well.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • Good news for the Bears: quarterback Mitch Trubisky was back throwing in practice on Monday for the first time since dislocating his shoulder. Trubisky went down hard on his left shoulder in Week 4, leaving Chase Daniel as the team’s starter for the time being. Daniel and the Bears fell to the Raiders last time out, leaving them 3-2 on the year. Off of their bye, they’ll face the Saints on Oct. 20.
  • Bad news for the Bears: Head coach Matt Nagy says Kyle Long will not return this season. This was the expected news after the right guard landed on IR for the fourth straight season.
  • The Vikings want to bring back wide receiver Davion Davis, either on the active roster or the practice squad, if he clears waivers on Monday, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweets. Davis was cut this week to make room for the promotion of linebacker Cameron Smith, who was chosen in the fifth round of this year’s draft.