Kyle Long Makes Most Sense to Replace Brandon Brooks

The guard retired after the Chicago Bears refused to pick up his 2020 contract and, while his play was declining, a call from Philly could be the rejuvenating power he needs
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Howie Roseman is no doubt working the phone lines trying to line up a replacement for Brandon Brooks.

There’s no way a team with Super Bowl aspirations can turn to Matt Pryor, Nate Herbig, or Sua Opeta to be the guy, can he?

And there’s absolutely no way the job goes to a rookie fourth-round pick in Jack Driscoll unless Driscoll proves to be some off-the-chart talent right out of an offseason stunted by COVID-19.

The first call the Eagles general manager should make should be to Kyle Long, the brother of former Eagles defensive end Chris Long, as Roseman looks to replace right guard Brandon Brooks, who revealed on Monday night that he tore his Achilles during an offseason workout.

Brooks is expected to miss the 2020 season.

Jason Peters, now 38, has never played guard in his life and would have to agree to do it. Not sure that’s the right route for the Eagles to go.

Larry Warford has been a Pro Bowl performer for the past three years with the New Orleans Saints, but he wants at least $7 million per season and is probably looking at more than one season.

Brooks’ contract is steep.

In 2021, he will count more than $14M against the salary cap. Should the Eagles sign Warford, that would not bode well for Brooks, who can be released after June 1 in 2021 which would allow the Eagles to save more than $10M against the cap though be on the hook for more than $4M in dead money.

Long, who is 31, makes the most sense, especially because they could probably get him on a one-year deal and for a reasonable amount of money.

To me, he is worth the flyer, even if he needs time to get into shape.

He announced his retirement this offseason when the Chicago Bears declined to pick up his contract option, but there are rumblings he wants to unretire.

Now, there was a reason Chicago chose not to pick up the contract, and it likely has to do with some decline in Long’s game.

Imagine Chris telling his younger brother how great the organization is, how passionate the fan base is, how he made Philly is second home during his two seasons here, and how amazing the parade was after he helped lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory.

Imagine the rejuvenating power of coming to a team like the Eagles.

This is no second-tier NFL team.

They are a team that has been built to contend since Doug Pederson arrived in 2016.

They have a franchise quarterback in Carson Wentz and, even though Roseman wanted to make his roster younger this offseason, still have solid veterans at key positions, veterans like Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce, and Zach Ertz.

These are guys who know how to win and what it takes to win.

Long is a former first-round pick of the Bears in 2013 out of Oregon. He started as a rookie and was named to the NFL’s all-rookie team and was named to the Pro Bowl after an injury to Mike Iupati.

In 2014, Long was named second-team All-Pro then in 2015, he was moved from guard to tackle and named to his third straight Pro Bowl. He struggled with various injuries for several years, however. He appeared in just four games last year.

The Eagles are a team that can challenge to return to the Super Bowl, but it doesn’t seem possible after springing a big leak at right guard.

Brooks’ Achilles tear is that devastating.

The good news, if there is any to be had, is that it didn’t happen during the regular season. It happened in June, as far as we are to assume because we don’t really know when it happened, so there is time for the Eagles to take their time and explore all avenues before deciding what to do.