Since the final tick of the clock at Super Bowl LVII, the question has arisen regarding the future of Philadelphia Eagles center, Jason Kelce, who just came off a 38-35 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Biggest Game of the Year.
It was also a friendly family feud of sorts, as Kelce was on the opposite of the field from his brother Travis, who won his second Super Bowl ring in four years. At the same time, Jason had some jewelry himself, already. He had won The Big One with the Eagles back in 2017.
But he’s 35 years old now, and he plays a position that’s like a car crash on every single play. He’s had his fair share of collisions and even considered calling it quits prior to last season. He’s been fortunate to avoid any major injuries and has started in 134 straight regular season games. So, while he’s been healthy, he’s still got a lot of miles on his odometer, and he’s really got nothing left to prove.
With all that in mind, the six-time Pro Bowler was the center (no pun intended) of speculation that he may have made his final snap. Which was completely understandable.
However, Jason Kelce was emphatic in his response to the rash of retirement rumors.
“I have put much thought into whether it makes sense to play another season,” Kelce posted on Twitter on Monday. “After talking it over with my wife and many other friends and family, I have decided to return for another year.”
“Thank you to all my supporters and detractors for fueling me, I ain’t f—ing done yet!”
Kelce is one of the more popular players in the City of Brotherly Love, which has a notorious reputation as a tough town when it comes to their local teams. With a fanbase that once threw snowballs at Santa Claus, the Ohio native has actually been embraced as if he grew up on nothing but cheesesteaks and Tastycakes.
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Jason Kelce not only made his intentions for the upcoming season clear on Twitter, he also put it down on paper, inking a one-year deal to return to the Eagles.
ESPN reported that Kelce and the team came to an agreement this week that will pay the star $14.25 million, with a maximum of $14.75 million in 2023. It means that he will likely retire as an Eagle, a topic that he has discussed in the past.
Even though retirement has been a subject that has come up with him following multiple seasons, Jason Kelce says he’ll know when its time to finally hang up his shoulder pads and go home. In an interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia prior to Super Bowl LVII, he touched on that topic.
“From everything I’ve been told about when you know it’s time to retire or not, you just know when you know, and it’s going to be when you don’t want to play football anymore,” he said. “And I don’t think that winning this game is going to determine whether I want to continue to play football or not.”
Still, Kelce knows that he will ultimately have to make the decision to bring his fantastic career to an end.
“Obviously, I contemplate it every offseason at this point, but I’m just going to appreciate the next week and a half with the guys in this room and all the coaches and hopefully put together another special game to end the season.”
For a longshot, a sixth-round pick in 2011, Kelce has turned out to be one the very best to play his position. On top of his starting games streak and Super Bowl title, he’s been a vital leader on an offensive line that helped carry Philly to The Big Game. They allowed NFL MVP runner-up Jalen Hurts the freedom to create on offense, which is what brought out the best in the prolific playmaker.
Those are intangibles, which is really the only way you can judge a blocker. There aren’t a lot of stats concerning O-Linemen, so it’s more about the way coaches, executives, and their peers view their contributions.
The media has always been quick to sing Kelce’s praises, as well. ESPN analyst Eric Edholm listed the Eagles lineman on his list of ‘Top 11 active locks in the NFL for Pro Football Hall of Fame‘ in a December 2022 article.
Jason Kelce and his brother Travis have extended their profile beyond the football field. They are both a part of the podcasting world, and both appear in local TV commercials in Philly and KC, respectively. Travis came off the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory by doing a solid job hosting Saturday Night Live last week, where he did a classic imitation of his quarterback, Patrick Mahomes.
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