Kyle Long

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Bears To Place Kyle Long On IR

The Bears are expected to put right guard Kyle Long on IR, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (Twitter link). That’s obviously disappointing news for Chicago, whose O-line has struggled mightily this year.

Of course, Long is one of the offensive lineman who has underwhelmed, so losing him might not be as big of a blow as it would have been in years past. It seems that time has taken a toll on the 30-year-old Oregon product, who hasn’t started more than nine games since 2016. He has been dealing with a hip injury this year, and it could be that the hip pain has caused his play to suffer.

Even so, he remains an intelligent veteran presence, so he will still be missed. The Bears, 3-2, have a bye this week and will be without Long for at least eight weeks. If the club is still in playoff contention at year’s end, Long could theoretically return for a postseason push. In the meantime, Rashaad Coward may get the nod in Long’s absence.

Long and the Bears agreed to a contract restructure in February that removed the 2021 season from Long’s deal, meaning he will be eligible for unrestricted free agency after the 2020 campaign. But Long was a potential cap casualty before the restructure, so he may have already played his last snap in a Bears uniform.

Bears’ Kyle Long Restructures Contract

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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Bears Activate OG Kyle Long From IR

The Bears will be receiving a boost just in time for the playoffs. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the team will be activating offensive lineman Kyle Long off the injured reserve today. To make room on the roster, Chicago waived quarterback Tyler Bray (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter).

Long suffered a foot injury during his team’s late-October victory over the Jets. The injury involved a tendon, and it wasn’t related to his broken ankle from 2016. His estimated time of recovery was six to eight weeks, and Long was healthy enough to be activated by the time he was eligible to return. Earlier this week, head coach Matt Nagy acknowledged that Long had completed an entire week of practice and would likely play most of the game this weekend.

‘‘Just talking to him throughout the week, I feel pretty good with him playing most of the game,’’ Nagy told Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun Times. ‘‘But we’ve just got to kind of see if that’s where we’re at and if it is a pitch count. I think a lot of that, honestly, is going to be more so when you’re in the game: How’s he feeling?

‘‘If he’s feeling good, keep him going. If he’s not . . . maybe it’s just between all of us talking, ‘Hey, let’s just get him out.’ It’s good for him any way you look at it.’’

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 only ranks him 28th among 79 eligible guards in 2018, but he was previously an annual inclusion in the top-five.

Current starting offensive guards Eric Kush and James Daniels have seen their way in and out of the starting lineup this season, and Long will surely replace one of them. Daniels, a second-round rookie, has graded out as the better lineman this season, per Pro Football Focus.

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Bears Place Kyle Long On IR

The latest injury Kyle Long‘s sustained will result in a lengthy absence for the former Pro Bowl blocker. The Bears announced they’ve placed their top guard on IR on Saturday.

Long suffered a foot injury in Week 8 and was expected to miss between one and two months of action. It will now be at least two, per IR rules. The sixth-year veteran cannot return until Week 17, if the Bears were intent on bringing Long back. It would be an interesting decision if the Bears were contending for a playoff spot at that point.

The Bears promoted running back Taquan Mizzell from their practice squad, Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune tweets.

This will obviously hurt Chicago’s O-line. Long has dealt with numerous injuries in recent years but returned to be a well-regarded blocker in 2018. Pro Football Focus graded Long as the league’s No. 31 guard through seven games.

Eric Kush also missed Week 8, bringing second-round rookie James Daniels into the starting lineup for the first time. Daniels will be back with the first-stringers in Week 9. If Kush can’t go on Sunday, the Bears have former Chiefs interior lineman Bryan Witzmann and second-year UDFA Rashaad Coward as options. Kush, though, got in a full practice on Friday, placing him on track to be able to suit up Sunday.

Long played in 47 games during his first three NFL seasons — all Pro Bowl campaigns — but missed 14 games between the 2016-17 slates. He’ll add at least eight missed contests to that total. The Bears signed Long to a four-year, $40MM extension in September 2016. The veteran’s injury trouble began immediately after that deal was finalized.

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Bears OG Kyle Long To Miss 6-8 Weeks

Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long is out for at least the next month or two. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the veteran guard will miss the next six to eight weeks with a foot injury. Long suffered the injury during Sunday’s win over the Jets.

Rapoport warns that Long is still gathering more info on his injury, but the six-to-eight-week timespan is the “best estimate right now.” Rapoport also tweets that the Bears could designate Long to return from the IR once he’s eligible.

The 29-year-old has spent his entire career in Chicago, earning three Pro Bowl nods along the way. Long has naturally played a major role on an effective offensive line this season, as the Bears have only allowed 16 sacks. Despite the lack of production from Jordan Howard, the Bears also rank third in rushing yards per game.

Despite the solid performance from the offensive line, Pro Football Focus only ranked Long 30th among 74 eligible offensive guard candidates. The site still ranked him as elite when it comes to pass blocking, but his run blocking score was less than stellar. His 2018 score is also a far cry from his grades from previous seasons.

With Long out indefinitely, the Bears will presumably turn to second-round rookie James Daniels to take his spot in the starting lineup. The team could also rely on reserve linemen Bradley SowellBryan Witzmann, and Rashaad Coward.

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