Some athletes announce their retirements with news conferences, some do it in the ultimate fashion by breaking the news on the field following a championship run, others announce it prior to their final season and do a year-long victory lap, looking at you Derek Jeter. However, Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long may have just started a new method: The meme retirement.
Well, send the Bears faithful into a world of speculation. What isn’t the long-time, pro-bowl lineman not telling us? Is he anticipating a trade? Based on Long’s long injury history, you can count that out. Are the Bears going to release Long? That is surely a possibility. Long is slated to carry a $9.6 million cap hit into 2020. If the Bears cut him, there would only be $1.5 million in dead cap for Long.
For a player who has struggled mightily to stay on the field, that would likely be the wise decision for Bears General Manager, Ryan Pace. It is tough to commit that type of money to a player you simply cannot count on to stay on the field.
Perhaps Long is well aware of his future and is simply going to hang them up before the Bears even release him. Injuries can take an extreme toll on athletes, and perhaps Long has gone through injury rehabilitation one too many times in his career. Father time is, in fact, undefeated.
As for Long’s career in Chicago, it has surely been a successful one. After being drafted in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Long was largely considered a reach by then Bears GM Phil Emery. Long went on to prove the so-called experts wrong.
Over his seven-year career with the Bears, Long has accomplished quite a bit. A three-time Pro Bowler, Long was selected to the NFL’s all-star game three straight years from 2013-2015. He also took home Second-team All-Pro honors in 2014. On top of all that, Long was also selected to the All-Rookie Team by the Pro Football Writers Association.
The inevitable future for Kyle Long appears to be either release or retirement. This is surely a sad end to a terrific career for Long. Long’s tweets seem to indicate that retirement will be the way this thing ends here in the coming months.
One time for Kyle Long. He went to war for Jay Cutler, Josh McCown and Mitchell Trubisky over his career. He went to war for the city of Chicago. Playing a position that doesn’t get much recognition, Long quickly became a fan favorite in the Windy City. All good things must come to an end though, and it appears that 2020 will spell the end for Kyle Long.
UPDATE: On Monday afternoon, the news that Long is moving on from football became official.