Jason Kelce Refutes Retirement Speculation

Reflecting on a season's end and future uncertainties.

by Nouman Rasool
Jason Kelce Refutes Retirement Speculation
© Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

In the wake of swirling retirement rumors, Philadelphia Eagles veteran center Jason Kelce set the record straight on his career's future. Speaking on the "New Heights" podcast, Kelce, who has been with the NFL for 13 seasons and boasts a Super Bowl title, refrained from confirming his retirement, a topic that has gained significant traction following the Eagles' NFC wild-card playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Reports that surfaced Tuesday suggested Kelce had informed his teammates of his intention to retire after the disappointing playoff defeat. However, Kelce's response paints a different picture. "I didn’t announce what I was doing on purpose, despite, I guess, what’s been leaked to the media," he said.

Emphasizing the emotional weight of such a decision post-game, Kelce explained, "There's too much emotion at the moment. There's too much going down in the moment to really fully grasp that decision." His reluctance to make a definitive statement stems from a desire to give the decision the gravity it deserves.

"It's just something I think when it's time to officially announce what's happening in the future, it'll be done in a way that's definitive and pays respect to a lot of people and individuals that have meant a lot to me, what has led to the career I've had," Kelce elaborated.

Kelce's Emotional Reflection

The revered center expressed his hope that his teammates and fellow professionals "cherish the moments you have in this league," highlighting the transitory nature of an NFL career. Kelce's emotional state was palpable as Monday night's game drew to a close, with the Eagles falling short against the Buccaneers in a 32-9 defeat, dashing hopes of another Super Bowl journey.

Should this game mark the end of his illustrious career, Kelce's legacy is cemented with six First-Team All-Pro selections and seven Pro Bowl appearances. He was a pivotal figure in the Eagles' historic 2017 Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots, the franchise's first.

Kelce's impassioned speech, delivered while clad in a Mummer costume during the victory parade, has become a part of Philadelphia folklore. Kelce, a standout from the University of Cincinnati, has had a remarkable journey since being picked in the sixth round of the 2011 draft.

His tenure spanned the leadership of several coaches, including Andy Reid, Chip Kelly, Doug Pederson, and currently, Nick Sirianni. As speculation about his retirement continues, one thing remains clear: Jason Kelce's impact on the Eagles and the NFL will be long remembered, possibly culminating in a future Hall of Fame induction.