2018 NFL Walter Payton Man of The Year, 2018 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award Winner, Founder, Waterboys, First Quarter For Literacy and Pledge 10 for Tomorrow initiatives
On May 18, 2019, the 11-year NFL veteran retired from the NFL leaving behind a more impressive legacy off-the-field.
For 2019 NFL season, Chris can transitioned from the playing field to broadcasting booth. Chris can be seen on Amazon’s Thursday Night pregame show, NFL Next, as well is a co-host on The Ryan Russillpo podcast Recap With on The Ringer.
Chris Long established himself as one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL. Long’s combination of size and speed has made him a dangerous threat for opposing offenses.
With the Eagles’ 41-33 win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, Chris Long won back-to-back titles with different teams and played in both Super Bowls. It’s something only three other players in NFL history have achieved.
On March 28, 2017, his 32nd birthday, Long signed a two-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.
On March 18, 2016, Long signed as a free agent with the New England Patriots. Long helped the Patriots finish 14–2 in the regular season, win the AFC Championship, and win Super Bowl LI (his first Super Bowl ring). With this victory, the Long family becomes the fourth father-son combination to each win a Super Bowl.
Long was named as a Pro Bowl alternate for the 2010-2014 NFL seasons. In 2012, he led the Rams in sacks with 11.5 as well as quarterback hits and hurries. Long recorded a career-high 13 sacks in 2011 and was selected to the NFL All-Rookie Team in 2008 after starting all 16 games for the Rams. He was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week three times (Week 6 – 2010, Week 8 – 2011 and Week 11- 2013). Long played for the St.Louis Rams from 2008-2015 where he started 95 of 114 games and collected 54 1/2 sacks.
Following an outstanding collegiate career at the University of Virginia, the Rams selected Long with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft. His 22 career sacks tied him for seventh on the school’s all-time list. In his senior year campaign, he was tied for third in the nation with 14 sacks, while starting 13 games at right defensive tackle. Long also won the 2007 Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award, given to the top defensive end in the nation. Additionally, he finished in 10th in voting for the 2007 Heisman Trophy. The unanimous first-team All-American was also selected as a finalist for the Vince Lombardi Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Ronnie Lott Trophy.
Long has extensive experience in charity and community service. The defensive end established the Chris Long Foundation in 2015 to fulfill three main philanthropic causes: clean water, military appreciation and youth education. Long’s main initiative is Waterboys, a program that has united professional athletes and sports fans to raise funds and awareness to provide clean drinking water to East African communities in need.
Long started Waterboys in 2015 after a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Inspired by the region’s people and its beautiful natural scenery, Long realized that he could use his platform as an NFL player to bring clean water, and all of the benefits that come with it, to the villages he visited.
Long’s initial goal was to build, with local labor, 32 clean water wells (one for each NFL team) – each costing $45,000 and supplying water for up to 7,500 people. Fittingly, Waterboys achieved that goal the same week that the Eagles won the Super Bowl.
By February 2018, Long’s goal of building 32 clean water wells, one for every NFL team, was met. Long has now set a goal of providing clean water to one million people.
To date, Waterboys has raised more than $3 million and has funded 55 wells that will provide water to 211,000 people.
While Long was a key contributor for the Eagles on the field during the 2017 Super Bowl championship season, he earned even more attention off of it.
Early in the 2017 season, the Chris Long Foundation, working with the Boys and Girls Club of Central Virginia, announced that Long would donate his first six game checks to fund two seven-year scholarships for underprivileged youth from the Charlottesville area at St. Anne’s Belfield School.
Later in the season, he donated his 10 remaining game checks to organizations supporting educational equity and opportunity in the three cities where he had played professionally: St. Louis, Boston and Philadelphia. He launched the “Pledge 10 for Tomorrow” campaign, urging fans and businesses in those cities to make their own contributions to his educational partners – and pledging another $50,000 to the city that raised the most additional funds. In total, Long’s efforts over the last two years have yielded $2.25 million in donations to educational equity programs. Long’s “First Quarter for Literacy” program donated 75,000 new books to children in under-served neighborhoods in 2018 alone.
Chris Long was named the 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide at NFL Honors. As a result of Long earning Man of the Year honors, the Chris Long Foundation will receive a $250,000 donation and an additional $250,000 will be donated to United Way in Long’s name to expand Character Playbookacross the country.
In addition, Long has served as spokesman for Lincoln Financial Group, Applebee’s, Facebook Portal, Men’s Wearhouse, St. Louis regional spokesman for DMI, participated in the Sprint NFL media tour, involved in NFL PLAY 60, a national youth health and fitness campaign focusing on increasing the wellness of young fans by encouraging them to be active for at least 60 minutes a day.
The Charlottesville, VA native is married to fellow Virginia Cavalier, Meagan O’ Malley. Long is the son of Diane and Howie Long, former Super Bowl Champion and current FOX NFL studio analyst. His brother Kyle was selected by the Chicago Bears 20th overall in the 2013 NFL Draft.