The former Chicago Bears guard – who called it quits after the season – was rumored to be a target of Joe Douglas.
On Friday afternoon, rumors circulated that Douglas may be looking to lure another interior offensive lineman out of retirement.
Sources: Jets have talked to former Bears Pro Bowl OL Kyle Long about coming out of retirement.
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) June 5, 2020
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported that sources indicated the Jets reached out to former Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long in order to gauge his interest in coming out of retirement.
Later, Rick Tarsitano of Chicago-based WGN-TV reported that Long told him there was zero truth to the Jets rumors.
Just asked Kyle Long if there was any truth to the Jets talk rumors. He said, “No. None.” https://t.co/ZcsnZ0JYZa
— Rick Tarsitano (@RickTarsitano) June 5, 2020
Long, 31, announced his retirement on January 6 after playing seven seasons with Chicago. He was drafted 20th overall in the 2013 Draft.
After making the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons, the Oregon product saw his prime years decimated by injury. Long played only 30 out of 64 (46.9%) possible regular season games from 2016-19.
In his final season, Long played in just four games and registered an overall PFF grade of 38.0 that was the worst among qualified guards. He allowed 14 pressures on 150 protection snaps, a rate of 9.3% that ranked second-worst at his position.
Douglas’ first experiment with a formerly retired lineman didn’t go too well, as Kalil lasted only seven games and was graded as Pro Football Focus’ third-worst center out of 35 qualifiers (55.5 overall grade).
Of course, that was no fault of Douglas. He was simply trying to find any way possible to improve on the terrible situation he inherited. As it turned out, Jonotthan Harrison graded out even worse than Kalil with a 51.4 grade that was the worst among qualified centers.
In this case, the Jets are probably best served spending their time and money elsewhere. Their guard situation is far from ideal, but Long would do little to improve it. His durability has been a chronic issue and his performance has slipped to an inadequate level. It would be highly unlikely for him to turn things around after mentally and physically committing to wrapping up his career.
If this reported interest is indeed true, it indicates the Jets are still actively searching for some help along the offensive line – good on Douglas for staying proactive at a position of need. Former Saints right guard Larry Warford is still out there.
Keep an eye out for Douglas and company to make another addition or two to this unit prior to the start of the season.