Philadelphia Eagles all-pro center Jason Kelce is retiring. His decision comes following the team’s loss in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs on January 16. The news was first reported by ESPN Senior NFL Analyst Adam Schefter.
“Philadelphia Eagles star center Jason Kelce told his teammates in Monday night’s postgame locker room that he is retiring, league sources told ESPN,” Schefter writes.
“Kelce, 36, was visibly emotional at the end of the Eagles’ 32-9 wild-card playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The six-time All-Pro and future Hall of Famer has considered retiring in recent seasons, but this time it will happen.”
Eagles’ Star Sounds off on ‘Downhill’ Road to Retirement
There had been murmurs of Kelce hanging up his cleats before their blowout loss at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The star center played in 15 games this season and did it while battling several injuries. Kelce gave all he could to the franchise that drafted him this season, but in the end, Father Time remained undefeated.
Before informing his teammates of his decision, the Eagles’ center explained why the looming decision had begun to weigh heavy on his mind.
“It’s getting harder every year. I’m nowhere near the player I used to be. Jalen Hurts makes all of us look a lot better and makes my job a lot easier,” he said.
“It’s only going to go [downhill], and whether you can be accountable to your teammates and perform at that level and mentally you have the energy to be the difference-maker that I feel I am in that regard, all that stuff will factor in.”
Eagles Coach Pays Homage to Jason Kelce
Kelce retires as a six-time All-Pro center and a seven-time Pro-Bowl selection. He also helped lead the Eagles to a Super Bowl in 2018. He will almost certainly have a spot in Canton, the home of the NFL Hall of Fame. If his retirement stands, he will be eligible in 2029.
Amid the murmurs of his retirement, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni described what the star center has meant to the franchise.
“I love him,” Sirianni said. “He’s special and I love him. He’s one of the most special guys I’ve been around. He’s always got a place here.”