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May 19, 2024

Eagles Center Jason Kelce Addresses Retirement Speculation

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Jan 18, 2024

Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce has addressed speculation that he is retiring from the NFL after 13 seasons. Kelce spoke about the retirement rumors on the latest episode of the “New Heights” podcast he co-hosts with his brother, Travis Kelce.

Kelce Noncommittal on Retirement Decision

While some reports indicated Kelce told teammates he would retire after the Eagles’ playoff loss to the Buccaneers, the All-Pro center said no official decision has been made yet:

“Obviously the emotion is real, right? And when that happens I get very in my feelings about the finality of something like this possibly being over. But there’s nothing I’m ready to announce, one way or the other, on that front,” Kelce said. “It’s not trying to be dramatic, it’s just real emotions and I’m not trying to string this thing along.”

Kelce admitted he goes through mental struggles after seasons end, leading to speculation about retirement. However, he has not definitively stated he will retire or return for a 14th season in 2024.

Background on Kelce’s Accomplished Career

Kelce, 35, has been a stalwart on the Eagles offensive line since being drafted in the 6th round in 2011 out of Cincinnati. He earned first-team All-Pro honors five times and has started in each of the Eagles last 15 playoff games.

Some key career accomplishments for Kelce:

  • 5x First-Team All-Pro
  • 5x Pro Bowl selection
  • Started 122 straight regular season games from 2016-2021
  • Only missed 8 total games in 13-year career
  • Won Super Bowl LII with Eagles in 2018

Kelce has formed one of the best center-quarterback duos in league history with Jalen Hurts. As the elder statesman on a young Eagles team, his leadership and experience have been invaluable during their run to the NFC’s #1 seed.

How Retirement Would Impact the Eagles

The Eagles have developed contingency plans if Kelce decides to hang up his cleats. 2021 2nd round pick Landon Dickerson would likely take over at center. Rookie Cam Jurgens, picked in the 2022 2nd round, would then slot in at guard.

However, Kelce’s retirement would still leave massive holes for Philadelphia to fill. As Hurts said, replacing Kelce goes far beyond his on-field production:

“He really is the heart and soul. He gets the guys going. I think that’s something money can’t buy,” said quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Beyond snapping the ball, Kelce has been instrumental in mentoring Hurts in mastering pass protections, blitz pickups, and reading defenses. The Eagles would also lose Kelce’s leadership in the locker room.

What’s Next for Kelce and the Eagles

For now, there is no clear answer if 2023 will be Kelce’s last ride. He could return while the Eagles’ championship window remains open. Philadelphia is well-positioned to contend again next season.

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman recently stated he will give Kelce all the time and space needed to determine his future plans:

“We’ll let Jason take as much time as he needs, because I think he’s earned that, to think about what he wants to do,” Roseman said.

So Kelce’s NFL career hangs in the balance as he weighs playing another year versus retirement. Expect an official announcement in the coming weeks or months once Kelce has had time to process the season and make a firm decision on his plans.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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