Defensive end Chris Long found out he won’t be returning to the Los Angeles Rams at the end of last week. Can the Rams’ loss be the Jacksonville Jaguars’ gain?
It can be frustrating to see your career get off to a quick start and quickly sputter. It’s a humbling experience and it can lead to some rough situations.
Chris Long, defensive end for the Los Angeles Rams, struggled with injury and saw his production take a big hit. He used to be a double-digit sack master and suddenly became a shell of his former self.
The Rams decided to cut bait and get rid of his salary, letting the former second-overall pick hit the open market for 2016.
The Jacksonville Jaguars need pass rush help and they aren’t quite sure what they have in 2015 first-round selection Dante Fowler Jr. Bringing in someone who could benefit from a change of scenery and can be a mentor while still providing at least some production could be exactly what the team needs.
The big question is: Can Chris Long provide what the Jaguars need?
If Fowler doesn’t pan out – which would be a severe blow to the Jags front office and developmental prospects – the Jags need someone who can help guide him back on track and still be productive when called upon. Over the past two seasons, Long has been limited to just 18 games and has just four sacks in those games. He’s a full three seasons removed from a truly productive 8.5 sack season.
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While it may be tempting to the Jaguars’ front office to replace Chris Clemons with a similar player in free agency who might have slightly more upside, I think the Jags are now at a point where they can actually choose to pass on players like Long. They don’t need aging, oft-injured players to come to town and try to re-find their glory days.
Chris Long just doesn’t seem like a good fit right now.