Recently retired defensive end Chris Long, who was praised for his dealings with the media, has been selected as the 2019 Good Guy Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America.
Long, the 15th Good Guy Award winner, is the award's first repeat honoree.
Other nominees for the Good Guy Award were Chicago Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara, New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, San Francisco 49ers tackle Joe Staley and former Baltimore Ravens, now Los Angeles Rams, safety Eric Weddle.
The Good Guy Award is given to an NFL player for his qualities and professional style in helping pro football writers do their jobs. The award has been presented annually by the PFWA since 2005.
Long was commended by local and national media alike for his willingness to provide thoughtful, in-depth answers on a variety of topics ranging from football to social justice to a host of other issues surrounding the league, both on and off the field.
"We appreciated Chris' thoughtfulness and accessibility during his final year in the NFL," said Zach Berman, the president of the Philadelphia chapter of the PFWA who covers the Eagles for the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Just as in his first season with the Eagles, he was honest and available in both good and bad times, and he knew how to inject perspective and humor when necessary. Whether he was asked about the Eagles defense, teammates and opponents, his own philanthropy, or the shrine he built for Nick Foles, his locker became a destination for notebooks, cameras, and recorders."
In 2018, Long finished the regular season ranked third on the defense in sacks (6.5) and fourth in combined pressures and hits (37). He had two sacks of Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson, including a key fourth-quarter strip sack in the Eagles' Week 16 victory over the Texans. He also had a two-sack game at Jacksonville on October 28. Off the field, Long was named the 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, one of the league's most-prestigious individual honors, for his outstanding community service activities off the field as well as excellence on the field.
Long announced his retirement on May 18 to close his 11-season career.