BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Chris Long has made a pretty big impact for the Eagles' defensive line in his first season with the Birds.
It just pales in comparison to his work off the field.
For his charitable efforts this season, the 32-year-old Long has been named the 2018 NFLPA Byron "Whizzer" White Community MVP, which is awarded by the NFLPA for the player who goes "above and beyond to perform community service in their team cities and hometowns." The award comes with a $100,000 donation that will go to the Chris Long Foundation.
Long was a finalist along with Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick, Von Miller and J.J. Watt. Their NFL peers voted on the winner.
It's not hard to figure out why Long won the award.
This season, Long donated his entire year's salary to fund educational initiatives designed to level the playing field. He was the Week 2 NFLPA Community MVP when he used his first six game checks to fund a scholarship program at his former high school in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Then in October, Long pledged to donate his final 10 game checks to further educational initiatives in Philadelphia, Boston and St. Louis, the three cities he has called home in the NFL. He basically played for free in 2017.
"In my 10th year, I want to celebrate the awesome opportunity I've had to play football by giving back to the communities that have given me that gift," Long said in a statement in October. "Educational opportunity and equity are the best gateway to a better tomorrow for everyone in America."
As he made that second donation, Long also created the "Pledge 10 for Tomorrow" campaign under his foundation with the hopes to get pledges to match and it happened.
Among his teammates in the Eagles' locker room, Long is one of the most respected. Sometimes his teammates tease him about his philanthropic work, but they're incredibly blown away by his selflessness. They certainly think he deserves this award.