The Jets on Tuesday released Spencer Long, a starting offensive lineman, opting not to pay a $3 million bonus he was due if he remained on the roster. There is a chance Long will return, but only at a reduced salary.

Last season, Long started 13 games for the Jets and played center and left guard. He was scheduled to make $3 million in 2019 and count $6.4 million on the salary cap.

Long, 28, was a 2014 third-round draft pick of the Redskins out of Nebraska and spent his first four NFL seasons in Washington. He hit free agency and signed a four-year, $27.4 million deal with the Jets, but that contract made it through only one year. He opened the 2018 season as the starting center and experienced injuries to his finger and leg. Long moved over to left guard after James Carpenter landed on injured reserve.

Long has 53 games and 44 NFL starts on his résumé. He endured some issues in his first season with the Jets, suffering a recurrence of a finger injury in the Nov. 4 loss to the Dolphins. Long stayed in that game and had all sorts of problems getting the snaps back to rookie quarterback Sam Darnold.

“The decision-making and communication needs to be better on my end,” Long said after the 13-6 loss in Miami. “It wasn’t anybody else’s fault. I just tried to stick it out because I want to do the best I can for this team. Sometimes, you have to play smarter, not harder.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *