Jason Kelce, one of the NFL’s best offensive linemen on the field and one of the league’s most popular players off it, refuted reports that he has finalized a decision to retire. But in his comments on Wednesday, he did strongly hint at the possibility.
ESPN reported that following the Eagles’ 32-9 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the wild-card round on Monday night, the longtime Philadelphia center told teammates he would retire. Kelce was emotional while exiting the field and shared a moment with his wife, Kylie, in the stands.
But Kelce said Wednesday on the “New Heights” podcast he co-hosts with his younger brother, superstar Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, that while he did address his teammates after the loss in Tampa Bay, he has not yet made any public announcement about his future.
“I didn’t announce what I was doing on purpose despite, I guess, what’s been leaked to the media,” Jason Kelce said. “I just don’t think you’re in a position after a game like that to really make that decision. I just don’t. There’s too much emotion in the moment to really fully grasp that decision.
“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 individuals that have meant a lot to me and has led to the career I’ve had.”
Kelce said his message to his Eagles teammates on Monday night was along those same lines.
“‘I got belief in every single one of you guys,'” Kelce recalled saying in that speech. “‘Cherish the moments you have in this league. … Don’t feel sorry for me.'”
Both Jason and Travis Kelce became emotional at that point in the podcast as Jason again broached the possibility that he has indeed played his last game in the NFL.