Kelce Addresses Retirement Rumors
NEW ORLEANS – Minutes after the Philadelphia Eagles saw their season end, Center Jason Kelce was asked about rumors he was considering retiring.
“This is a game where I am getting older and I think for the last three years, realistically, I’ve tried to stay in the moment and stay in the season,” Kelce stated. “At the end of the year you reassess and reevaluate. I certainly have not made any decision or anything like that.”
Kelce is not the only player on this team facing the possibility of retirement. Tackle Jason Peters is getting older and frequently failed to finish games. Defensive End Chris Long is also getting older.
“It’s the same situation last year and the year before that,” Kelce acknowledged. “It’s probably a similar situation to what Chris Long has been through the last few years. Nick Foles has mentioned it. Really, it’s a hard game and the older you get, the competitor in you, the player in you, obviously wants to keep going. Through the rigors of the season, my family and friends are taking the brunt of all the positives and the negatives going on.”
Kelce made it clear he has no idea what his future holds at this point. However, it is something he will consider as the days pass following this loss to the Saints.
“I can’t really stress that I haven’t made a decision to retire at all,” Kelce told reporters. “This is a season-by-season basis thing that probably will happen for the rest of my career.”
If Kelce retires, he will go down as a consistent force in the middle of the Eagles offensive line. His athleticism at the position was never more evident than when the Eagles ran screens. Kelce was typically the first lineman downfield to try and eliminate a would-be tackler from the thought of bringing down his receiver.
He will forever be remembered for his Super Bowl Parade attire looking more like a mummer than a Philadelphia Eagles football player. His passion at the podium that day will never be forgotten, “I’m going to take a second to talk to you about underdogs. This entire organization, with a bunch of driven men who accomplished something. We were a bunch of underdogs. And you know what an underdog is? It's a hungry dog.Bottom line is, we wanted it more. All the players. All the coaches. The front office. Jeffrey Lurie. Everybody wanted it more. And that's why we're up here today. And that's why we're the first team in Eagles history to hold that freaking trophy.”
Moments after winning Super Bowl LII, Kelce let his guard down and told me about the improbable odds that he would be a Super Bowl Champion, “"You work so hard your whole life to get here. Everything culminates and I can't help but think back to a quote my grandfather gave me from Calvin Coolidge about persistence. I'm not going to say it because it's a little long and it will drag on, but he gave me that quote when I was 18-years-old, when I was not given a scholarship at any Division I university. My father and mother told me to stay after my dream. And I've officially accomplished the best thing in this sport, with a group of guys who mean the world to me. Because really, persistence has summed up my whole career. Summed up my whole life. Just keep going. Keep moving forward. No matter what obstacle comes in your way, just keep moving forward. The resiliency of this team is incredible. We've all talked about it. But when you really sit back and think, a lot of you guys picked us to finish dead last in the NFC East. As the season went along, nobody gave us any inclination that we were best team in the NFL, especially after injuries started happening, which is understandable. But the fact that we were able to overcome everything...just keep moving forward. I can't help but be a little bit emotional."
Will Kelce retire? Who knows? But if he does, he will leave some big shoes to fill in the middle of that offensive line.