Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long has agreed to restructure his contract, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Long was a cap casualty candidate, but the adjustments to the deal will allow him to remain with the club for years.
Long agreed to take $2.9M less in 2019, but he can make $2.5MM of that back through incentives, Rapoport hears (on Twitter). Meanwhile, the Bears turned the 2020 into a team option and removed Long’s 2021 season, allowing him to reach free agency sooner.
Long re-upped with the Bears on a four-year, $40MM contract extension early in the 2016 season, putting him under club control through 2021. Discontinuing the deal, which included $30MM in guarantees and a $7.5MM signing bonus, would have called for the Bears to carry a $3MM cap hit against $5.5MM in savings this year.
The 2013 first-round pick has battled through injuries over the past three years, missing a total of 22 games during that span. When he’s been in the lineup, Long has been among the top offensive guards in the entire league. Pro Football Focus ranked him as just the 36th best guard in the NFL last year, but he was previously an annual inclusion in the top-five.
Thanks to a foot injury, Long missed eight regular season games in 2018. However, the three-time Pro Bowler recovered in time to play in the Bears’ opening round playoff loss to the Eagles.
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