A story, in three acts, per ESPN's Field Yates, NFL Network's Michael Silver and Ian Rapoport:
Michael Silver @MikeSilver
As @fieldyates reported, the Eagles earlier this month offered to upgrade DE Chris Long's 2018 contract. The guaranteed money is actually in the $4 million range. However, Long has not yet accepted. Still mulling over what a source says is a "football decision" whether to return.
Long, 32, was a solid piece in the Eagles' defensive line rotation in 2017, registering 28 tackles, five sacks and four forced fumbles. He added four tackles and a fumble recovery during Philly's postseason run and eventual Super Bowl title.
Pro Football Focus gave Long a grade of 82.5 last season, 30th amongst edge-rushers.
He was also a respected leader in the locker room, was an outspoken voice for social justice and was active in the community, as he "donated his first six game checks from last season to provide a pair of scholarships for students in Charlottesville, Virginia. He used his final 10 game payouts to launch his Pledge 10 for Tomorrow campaign," per NFL.com.
He said in January he felt as though he had found a home in Philadelphia.
"This city, the fan base, they really have kind of adopted me as one of their own in just a year," he told Dave Spadaro of Eagles.com. "I couldn't ask for much more than that. As a football player, it’s important to feel like you're at home and I felt at home this year."
If he returned to Philadelphia, Long would offer the Eagles another solid veteran piece for their deep and versatile defensive line, which also includes Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Timmy Jernigan, Michael Bennett, Derek Barnett and Haloti Ngata.
Last year, the defensive line was a major factor in the defense's overall success, as the team gave up just 79.2 rushing yards per game, best in the NFL. While there has been some turnover at the position this offseason, the unit is poised to once again be dominant in 2018.
Having Long, however, would be a major boost for the team's depth.