Philadelphia Eagles star Jason Kelce has responded to reports suggesting that he announced his retirement after the team’s season-ending loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Contrary to initial claims, Kelce clarified on his “New Heights” podcast, co-hosted with his younger brother Travis Kelce, that he has not made any definitive retirement plans and emphasized the importance of making such a decision with careful consideration.
Following the Eagles’ 32-9 wild-card playoff defeat to the Buccaneers, reports circulated that Kelce had informed his teammates in the locker room about his retirement. However, Kelce, considered one of the best centers in the NFL, dismissed the notion of a hasty decision, stating, “I just don’t think you’re in a position after a game like that to make that decision.”
During the podcast, Kelce expressed gratitude and love for his teammates, acknowledging that the outcome of the game was disappointing for the city of Philadelphia. He emphasized the emotional toll of such moments and the need for a more thoughtful approach when contemplating retirement.
“I’m not trying to be dramatic and continue to draw this thing out, I’m not,” Kelce said. “It’s just something that 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 who have meant a lot to me and what has led to the career I’ve had.”
The 36-year-old center, a native of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, holds an impressive record as the fifth center in NFL history with at least six All-Pro selections. His one-year contract with the Eagles expired at the end of the 2023 season, and he is set to become a free agent in March.
While Kelce did address the team after the playoff loss, he clarified that it was to convey his belief in and love for his teammates rather than to make any retirement announcements. The emotional toll of the moment was evident, prompting a pause in the podcast, with Travis Kelce offering words of encouragement to his brother.
As the NFL offseason unfolds, fans, teammates, and football enthusiasts will be on the edge of their seats awaiting a definitive decision from the veteran center. Kelce’s impact on and off the field has been significant, and his future in the league remains uncertain, adding an element of suspense to the upcoming months.