Recently released defensive end Chris Long may soon find a new home with one of the NFL’s Super Bowl favorites.
According to Peter King of MMQB.com, Long is already being “pursued aggressively by contenders” after the Los Angeles Rams cut him in a cap move last week. An eight-year NFL veteran, he is free to sign with another team at any time.
Now 31, Long is coming off a pair of injury-riddled seasons. He missed 14 total games over the last two years, including four last season (knee) and 10 in 2014 (ankle surgery).
The Rams saved over $20 million by releasing Long, who tallied just four total sacks over the last two years. He was due $14.25 million on the team’s salary cap in 2016.
The former No. 2 overall pick will now have the opportunity to pick his next landing spot.
NFL teams can never have enough pass-rushers, and Long’s productive past—he once produced at least 8.5 sacks for four straight seasons from 2010-13—will appeal to teams in need of a 4-3 defensive end. The Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks could be among his potential suitors, although Long also makes sense for the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Giants, Chicago Bears and a host of others teams in free agency.
Long has never played a postseason game, making it possible he will prioritize playing for a contender over money.
Over eight NFL seasons, Long has 54.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.