The latest on former Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long’s potential return to football took another interesting turn Monday morning. Long took to Twitter to discuss everything from ESPN’s latest installment of 30 for 30 to his appreciation for golf, and he found himself yet again addressing rumors he may play again — and this time, he got a bit more specific than he has in recent weeks.
Long, who stepped away from football after a seven-year career with the Bears earlier this year, has yet to file any retirement papers, and he nixed the recent rumor he was being pursued by the New York Jets. His new muscular frame and sparse hints at a possible return have left some fans waiting in the wings and wondering, and Monday, he sent out a series of tweets detailing what it would take for him to return to the game.
Kyle Long on Returning to Football: ‘I Would Wait on a New Staff’
Long corrected one twitter user who used the word ‘retire’ to describe his decision to leave the game after the 2019 season. “I didn’t retire, I got fired,” Long said, before adding this nugget: “I will know with conviction whether I’m done for good or not in the next few weeks. Full transparency I miss football but at what cost … I’m most likely gonna be on golf courses instead of gridiron’s.”
He then said that if he was going to return to the Chicago Bears, it wouldn’t be with Matt Nagy leading the team. “I would wait for a new staff,” Long tweeted, also tweeting out “Be you,” which is head coach Matt Nagy’s much-hyped mantra.
Long doesn’t seem to hold any ill will towards the Bears organization — in fact, it’s quite the opposite. He noted it was the Bears’ decision to let him go, but he also said he totally understood why they did. He tweeted that during halftime in the Bears-Raiders game in London, he was told he wasn’t the player he used to be, and he went on injured reserve shortly after that, his career was done in Chicago.
“It’s a bottom-line business,” Long told The Athletic last month. “If No. 75 isn’t blocking the (man) in front of him, he has no place on our team. I respect that. When I spoke to Nagy, he essentially verbalized that, and I told him if I were him, I would have done this a long time ago because I hadn’t blocked (anybody) in weeks. The Bears took care of me for a long time when I was hurt. Guys don’t get two, three chances in the league. I did.”
Long has also said on multiple occasions he wouldn’t rule out a return to football, and the phrase “Once a Bear, always a Bear” has been a mantra of his for years. But it seems that potential return is contingent on entirely different leadership being present first — if he doesn’t go ahead and sign with another team, that is.