NFL Free Agency Primer: David Long

The regular season has come to a close, and most teams have already begun the complicated process of preparing for the 2023 season. As the new league year approaches, we'll be covering the impending free agents most capable of shifting the balance of power in the NFL.

The Player: David Long

Tennesse Titans linebacker David Long has seen his role grow every single year since entering the league as a sixth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, culminating in a 2022 season that included 12 starts and 86 total tackles. He also earned a very respectable 76.2 overall grade from Pro Football Focus over his 740 snaps. He remains only 26 years old, and his best years should be ahead of him.

The Fit:

Long is somewhat small for a linebacker (5'11", 227 lbs), but that's becoming increasingly common in the NFL. He's a no-nonsense, selfless player who makes the right plays instead of the splash plays. He can provide leadership and reliability for the right team, but he probably doesn't have the stature or profile to really command a locker room like organizations often demand of their linebackers. He probably belongs on a team in need of a steadying presence inside.

The Contract:

Long didn't enter the draft with a significant pedigree and never developed the sort of game that would make him a star, so he's unlikely to break the bank. He'll probably land a deal that acknowledges his value as a leader and veteran. A contract in the range of Myles Jack's two-year, $16 million deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Matt Milano's four-year, $41.5 million pact with the Buffalo Bills would probably be fair.  

Photo Credit: © Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports