Jake Long is still unemployed but “finally healthy”
A mere eight years ago, tackle Jake Long became the first overall pick in the draft, chosen by the Dolphins and former V.P. of player personnel Bill Parcells despite the presence of quarterback Matt Ryan in the pool of talent. Today, Long is out of the NFL.
But he’s looking to get back in, and Long insists that the injury problems that plagued him are now gone.
“I’m finally healthy,” Long said Saturday, via Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com. “This is the healthiest and best I’ve felt in probably about five, six years. My knee’s back. I’ve just been working out, feeling good and ready for the opportunity when it comes along.”
The opportunity has yet to come along. The Bears gave Long a workout earlier this month, but that may have been a leverage play during their negotiations with Nate Chandler, who signed later that same day.
Long spent five years with the Dolphins, cashing every check of a pre-wage scale $57.5 million deal. He then signed a two-year contract with the Rams, but was released after tearing an ACL in back-to-back years. Last year, Long joined the Falcons. He appeared in only four games, starting none.
That has resulted in an opportunity to fully recuperate from the various ailments that come from playing football for so many seasons.
“When I wake up and my knee doesn’t hurt, you know what I mean,” Long said. “I feel the strength back. You can see it. You can feel it. My body feels good the way I’m moving, working out and how good I feel moving on it.”
That has yet to result in anyone signing Long, but with injuries inevitable as training camp and the preseason approaches, Long could end up getting a call before Week One.