Jets Talked to Kyle Long About Coming Out of Retirement: Report

Lou DiPietro
June 05, 2020 - 6:04 pm

Could 2020 be the second year in a row the New York Jets talk a former Pro Bowl lineman out of retirement and into a spot on the Gang Green roster?

According to Manish Mehta of New York Daily News, the Jets have reached out to former Bears guard/tackle Kyle Long about a possible NFL return to join a heavily revamped offensive line unit that added three players in free agency as well as No. 11 overall pick Mekhi Becton.

Long, 31, decided to hang it up in January after seven years in the league. He was a Pro Bowler in each of his first three seasons in Chicago after being taken No. 20 overall in the 2013 Draft and was second team All-Pro in 2014, but injuries limited him to just 30 of 64 games over his final four campaigns, with the final 11 of those 34 DNPs coming after he was placed on injured reserve with a hip injury last October. 

Prior to Long’s retirement, he had one year left on his deal with the Bears, but the team declined his 2020 option and made him an unrestricted free agent in March. Early retirement is nothing new to the Long family, however, as his brother, Chris, retired in May 2019 at age 34, and their father, Hall of Famer Howie Long, took his final snap on the Raiders’ defensive line just days after he turned 34.

Should talks with Long come to fruition, the Jets will hope for a better result than they had with center Ryan Kalil, who ended an eight-month retirement to sign with Gang Green last August. Kalil had been a five-time Pro-Bowler and three-time All-Pro in 12 seasons with the Panthers prior to that, but struggled in his seven games with the Jets and ended 2019 on injured reserve.