Kyle Long thanks Bears fans, announces he is ‘stepping away’ from football

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Kyle Long said goodbye to Bears fans Sunday night.

The three-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman announced he is stepping away from football more than two months after the Bears placed him on injured reserve, tweeting “I was drafted a Bear and I decided to retire a Bear.”

Long landed on IR four straight seasons and took a pay cut last year. The Bears would have owed him $8.1 million if they picked up his club option in 2020.

“We think the world of him,” noted Bears GM Ryan Pace. “It’s unfortunate he’s had a handful of injuries and he’s tried to battle through all of them.”

The 31-year-old played in all but one game his first three seasons before suffering a slew of injuries, most recently to his hip.

If Long does hang it up for good, he’ll start and finish his career with the Bears. He was drafted 20th overall in 2013 by Phil Emery, who he thanked along with team owner Virginia McCaskey in his Twitter farewell.

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