Kyle Long’s New Contract: The Numbers
The numbers are out on Kyle Long’s new contract.
News surfaced yesterday that Kyle Long had reworked his contract with the Chicago Bears and guaranteed that he will remain with the team in 2019.
That was great news for Bears’ fans and Bears players as Long isn’t just a popular player among fans, he’s also a popular player in the locker room.
News originally started to circulate after Kyle Long took to Twitter.
It’s no surprise that Long’s contract was reworked. Long had an $8.5 million cap hit that was going to be impossible for the Bears to keep on record based on Long’s injury history over the last few years. The Bears gave Long a contract extension in 2016 that paid him like an elite guard. Since signing that contract, Long has missed 22 games over three seasons due to injuries.
The Bears simply can’t commit that level of cash to a player that they can’t rely on playing every game. Kyle Long knew that too, so what’s interesting coming from Da Bears Blog is that it appears Long may have initiated the conversation about the pay cut.
"What I was texted a week ago: “Kyle Long isn’t going anywhere.” I didn’t send a follow-up to that text because I never actually believed Long was going anywhere. Long apparently made it clear to the Bears he would do anything necessary to remain with the organization. And the Bears made sure not to lose one of their finest leaders."
So just how much did the Bears save?
Not only did Long take a significant cut in 2019, he gave the Bears the option to keep him in 2020 based on his 2019 performance. The 2021 year on the contract has been eliminated, meaning Long will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 season, possibly after this season.
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The incentives that Rapoport and Yates discuss are almost certainly games played bonuses. The more time Long is on the field, the more money he will receive. If Long can’t stay healthy and stay on the field, he won’t receive the bonuses and won’t make anything above his base pay.
Long isn’t the player he once was but when healthy, he’s still an asset to the offensive line. He’s also a significant asset to the locker room. Long is a respected veteran in the locker room and is popular among the Bears’ players. His continued presence will only help the team.
Long probably saw the writing on the wall that either the Bears were going to reduce his pay or release him. Long has stated multiple times that he wants to remain with the Chicago Bears for the entirety of his career. Long chose to be proactive and tell the Bears he wants to remain with the team and reduce his pay.
By doing so, the Bears happily eliminated the idea of having to remove him from the roster. Long is a Bear this year, and almost certainly in 2020. For everyone involved, that’s a great thing.