Just hours after trading Pro Bowl defensive end Chandler Jones to the Cardinals, New England reportedly rebuilt some of its defensive line depth with the addition of former Ram Chris Long.
ESPN was the first to report the signing.
Long reportedly visited New England on Monday, but according to NFL Network had left town without a deal. NFLN reported that Long was on his way to Dallas to meet with the Cowboys, but apparently something led to a decision to sign with New England.
The son of Hall of Famer Howie Long, Chris was the No. 2 overall pick out of Virginia by the Rams in the 2008 NFL Draft. The 6-4, 275-pound veteran has played both tackle and end in his career in St. Louis. He played in all 16 games in each of his first six seasons in the league, including his two best seasons in 2011-12 when he had 13 and 11.5 sacks, respectively.
But the 31-year-old Long has dealt with injuries in the last two seasons, including a serious ankle issue in 2014 that limited him to just six games played. He played in 12 games with five starts this past fall.
Long certainly has the ability to move around the defensive front, a skill Bill Belichick utilizes often in his defensive linemen. At the very least, given the departure of the Pro Bowler Jones, Long adds to the defensive end depth chart that already includes Rob Ninkovich, Jabaal Sheard, Trey Flowers, Geneo Grissom and Rufus Johnson. He also could be insurance for former first-round pick Dominique Easley, who's finished each of his first two seasons on injured reserve.
Long's best days may be behind him. But he certainly brings veteran experience, professionalism and work ethic with him to Foxborough, where he'll be looking to rebound from two very disappointing seasons that led to his release by the Rams.
Long's brother, Bears guard Kyle Long, added some good Twitter humor to his sibling's signing in New England.