Veteran defensive end Chris Long, who spent last season with the New England Patriots, announced today, via Instagram, that last season would be his first and only with the team. 

Thank you Pats Nation. As a player you've given so much support to, I owe you an explanation as to why I'll be moving on in FA... even if it isn't a big deal. This year and this opportunity gave me a ton. I made lifelong friends in a great locker room and became a champion. I'm so thankful that Coach B (the GOAT) took a chance on me and allowed me the opportunity to play a small part in this wonderful year. This has zero to do with money, etc. It's the right move in my heart because I want to get back to being the player I was before. I'm thankful for my role this year, but as a competitor, I'm itching to do what I do best. It was important to say thank you personally. You may not remember me much, but I'll always remember y'all!! #driveforfive #missionaccomplished

A post shared by Chris Long ⚡️ (@laflamablanca95) on

Long, who signed a one-year deal with the team prior to last season, had never been to the postseason before in his career. He will leave New England, now, as a Super Bowl champion.

According to Long's IG post, his decision not to pursue a new deal with the Pats is being made solely because he wants to "get back to being the player I was before."

Though he played a majority of the team's defensive snaps in the regular season, Long saw a drastic decline in his postseason snaps. His fewest snaps of the year came in Super Bowl LI, in which he was on the field for just 15 plays.

Though his role was limited on the biggest stage, he did produce in a major way, drawing a holding penalty late in the fourth that took the Falcons out of field goal range and forced them to punt the ball up eight points. From there, the Pats marched down the field to tie the game at 28 a piece and obviously capped the biggest Super Bowl comeback minutes later in overtime.



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