Some front offices are all talk when they discuss the concept of leaving no stone being left un-turned in their attempts to build a roster.
The New York Jets appear to be taking that to another level:
Sources: Jets have talked to former Bears Pro Bowl OL Kyle Long about coming out of retirement.
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) June 5, 2020
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports the Jets have talked to Kyle Long in an attempt to coax the former Chicago Bears offensive lineman out of retirement.
Just asked Kyle Long if there was any truth to the Jets talk rumors. He said, "No. None." https://t.co/ZcsnZ0JYZa
— Rick Tarsitano (@RickTarsitano) June 5, 2020
The rest of our original post is as follows …
Long, 31, stepped away from football after an eight-year career with the Bears ended with him serving a stint on injured reserve after playing just four games. The most recent years of Long’s career have been tattered with a slew of injuries. Long hasn’t played a full 16-game season since 2015, but was excellent when healthy as he logged three Pro Bowl appearances (2013, 2014, 2015) and earned second-team All-Pro honors (2014) as a star at right guard and right tackle.
The Jets have tried this once before (and successfully, too). Last year, offensive lineman Ryan Kalil was coaxed to come out of retirement to play for the Jets. Kalil, a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro, played his first 12 years in the league with the Carolina Panthers and was set to retire after the 2018 season. That is, of course, until the Jets came calling. And for what it’s worth, Jets GM Joe Douglas has a history with Long, as he was on Ryan Pace’s staff in 2015 as the Bears’ Director of College Scouting. So at least there is some cursory familiarity to be noted.
Even still … I’m not sure if Long will entertain the thought of a return to the pros.
In May, Dan Pompei of The Athletic told the story of the mental, physical, and emotional tolls of playing professional football. It’s a lot to take in, but Long shared the details of what his body and mind went through as he geared up to play his tail off for the Bears every Sunday. It was must-read stuff.
And based on what he has shared on social media, Long seems to be enjoying post-NFL life. But that the Jets are rumored to be willing to try and pry him out of retirement and get him back in the game says a lot about what they think about his game.