Jake Long, the #1 pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2008 has announced his retirement from the NFL Monday. Long played in a total of nine seasons with the Dolphins, St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals and the Minnesota Vikings. Long was only the third offensive tackle to be taken as the #1 overall pick. The previous two, Orlando Pace and Ron Tary, are both Hall of Famers.
Long, who suffered a torn Achilles last season, decided to retire after he said his rehab from injury made him, “realize that although my heart and mind still want to play, my body is telling me something completely different.”
After being selected to the Pro Bowl each year in his first four season with the Dolphins, Long decided to try free agency and signed a four-year $36 million contract with the Rams. The end of h first year with the Rams is when the end started. In December Long tore his ACL in a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ten months later Long would suffer another town ACL. The Rams released him after two years.
At the beginning of the 2015 season he signed a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons playing on 11 snaps that season. The next off-season the Baltimore Ravens and Long agreed to a one-year deal but the Ravens wanted Long to sign an injury waiver due to his history. Long declined and never signed the contract.
Five weeks into the 2016 season the Minnesota Vikings signed Long to a one-year deal. He would start three games for the Vikings before suffering a torn Achilles in week 10.
It such a sad end to a very promising young football career. Starting his career with four pro bowls after being selected as the #1 overall pick in the draft is an achievement in of itself. But then to only start 30 games over the next four years due to three horrific injuries, and only 15 games over the last three years means the end. Good for Long to realize that and stop now before he seriously injures himself with life long consequences.