The NY Jets have reportedly spoken to retired Pro Bowl offensive guard Kyle Long.
The NY Jets are reportedly exploring a familiar strategy when it comes to acquiring veteran offensive linemen late in the offseason.
Per a report from Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News, the Jets have had discussions with former Pro Bowl offensive guard Kyle Long about potentially coming out of retirement to sign with the team.
Of course, Jets fans will recall that the team opted for a similar approach last offseason when they coaxed five-time Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil out of retirement to sign with them in August.
Unfortunately, that strategy didn’t exactly pay off as Kalil would play just seven games of near-disastrous football before winding up on the season-ending injured reserve.
The Jets would obviously be hoping for a different outcome if they were to sign Long.
Long originally entered the league as a first-round pick of the Chicago Bears back in 2013 and he didn’t waste much time making an immediate impression. The Oregon product would make the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons establishing himself as one of the best guards in the NFL.
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That would end up being the peak of his career, however, as it was all downhill from there.
Long played in just eight games in 2016 before sustaining a triceps injury and later a severe ankle injury forcing him to miss the rest of the year. And it’s not as if he was healthy for those eight games as he played the entire year with a torn labrum in his shoulder.
That injury-filled season would prove to be the beginning of the end for Long’s career as he would play in 10 games in 2017, eight in 2018, and just four this past season.
We’re not just talking about one nagging injury either. Long landed on the injured reserve in each season for various issues relating to his foot, shoulder, ankle, fingers, and eventually his hip in 2019.
That hip injury would be the final nail in the coffin as Long announced his retirement in January having seen his once-promising career completely derailed by injuries. But maybe it isn’t the end after all.
The NY Jets did it with Ryan Kalil, can they do it with Kyle Long?
General manager Joe Douglas managed to coax Kalil out of retirement last offseason, perhaps he could do the same with Long. But would it be worth it?
In the four games that Long did play in 2019, he finished with an absolutely abysmal 38.0 Pro Football Focus grade which would have ranked dead last among all qualified offensive linemen if he played in enough games to qualify.
Of course, all four games were spent playing with a severely injured hip, but it’s something to take note of. In fact, Long really hasn’t been an above-average starter since 2017, but again he’s been hampered by injuries in every season since 2015.
Essentially, it would be a shot in the dark.
Long was once one of the best guards in football, but that realistically hasn’t been the case in nearly half a decade. Even if Long is healthy — which he hasn’t been in five years — who knows what he still has left in the tank?
The Jets are showing interest, but I’m not too sure they’re barking up the right tree.