Jason Kelce responds to retirement rumor

Jason Kelce

Jason Kelce has finally spoken out about the rumors he may be hanging up his cleats and pads.

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Update 12:59 p.m. EST Jan. 17: Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce has cleared up whether he is retiring after reports on Tuesday said that he was.

Kelcie addressed the rumors nearly a day later during his podcast “New Heights,” saying, “I just don’t think you’re in a position after a game like that to really, you know, make that decision. I just don’t. There’s too much emotion in the moment. There’s too much going down in the moment to really fully grasp that decision.”

He added, “I’m not trying to be dramatic and continue to draw this thing out. I’m really not. 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. I don’t think that it would be respectful or even accurate to be able to do that right after a game like that.”

But he did share what he told his teammates after the loss to Tampa Bay 32-9.

“I got belief in every single one of you guys. Cherish the moments you have in this league. I think it’s kind of the way it went down. A lot of guys are like, ‘If that is your last game, I feel sorry for you.’ Don’t feel sorry for me,” Kelce said, according to ESPN.

ESPN had reported that right tackle Lane Johnson said that Kelce “hinted” that he was leaving.

Kelce also talked about the hug he and coach Jeff Stoutland shared on the field after the game, “I realized that it you know could be potentially one of the last times I get to do that with him, I just really want to make sure he knows how much I appreciate him. Didn’t want to get emotional, but what can you do.”

Kelcie added that when he does decide to leave the game, it will be done in an official announcement, People magazine reported.

“I think when it’s time to officially announce what’s happening in the future, it will be done in a way that will be definitive,” Kelce said. “With respect to individuals who have meant a lot for me and what has led to the career I’ve had.”

Original report: Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce has told his teammates that he plans to retire, The Associated Press reported.

Three sources confirmed the news to the AP on the condition of anonymity.

News of the 13-year veteran’s supposed retirement came days after the Eagles lost to Tampa Bay 32-9. The loss left Kelce in tears on the sidelines. He also did not speak to the media after the end of the game.

The Athletic reported that he left the field alone and was met by Eagles general manager Howie Roseman before he told the media, “No, guys. Not today. Sorry,” when asked for an interview.

Kelce had been considering retirement in the past, with Coach Nick Sirianni sending a keg of beer to the center’s home to persuade him to stay in 2022.

He was to become a free agent in March, ESPN reported.

The news should also not come as a surprise to fans, as he told reporters as late as last week that he had already thought about playing his last game three years ago, The Athletic reported. During the Amazon Prime documentary “Kelce,” he talked about his health and quality of life.

Right tackle Lane Johnson said that Kelce “hinted” to the team that it was his last season, ESPN reported.

Along with more than a decade in the NFL, the Eagle has 156 starts and six All-Pro Team selections after being the sixth-round draft pick in 2011. He missed most of the 2012 season with a partial MCL tear and a fully torn ACL.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts called Kelce a legend.

“He’s a legend in the city. Really in the league. I don’t want to do a disservice to him and the things he’s been able to do and overcome. His journey to where he is now didn’t come easy. It’s been a long, long time coming for him, and every year since I’ve been here it’s been, are you going to come back? But he knows how much I love and appreciate him. He knows how much I’ve learned from him. He’ll forever have a special place in my heart,” Hurts said.

Left tackle Jordan Mailata said, “He’s a true leader to the final whistle. He’s real positive. Trying to get the guy’s spirits going. Get us going. He’s a true leader till the final whistle. That’s why I love him. Guy taught me how to lead. And, yeah, it’s tough. It’s tough out there. Really was,” The Athletic reported.

Still, if Kelce is retiring, his mother, Donna Kelce, will continue seeing one of her sons playing the game.

Travis Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs are still in the playoffs after their wild-card win against the Dolphins 26-7. Next, they take on the Bills in Buffalo on Sunday at 5:30 p.m., The Kansas City Star reported.

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