Jason Kelce: Final call on career coming 'when it's time'

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Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce declined to specifically address his playing future during the latest episode of his podcast, saying he would make an official announcement "when it's time."

Kelce's comments on the "New Heights" podcast, which he co-hosts with his brother,Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, came after ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Tuesday morning, citing league sources, that the longtime center told his Eagles teammates he was retiring after their wild-card loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Kelce, 36, said the emotions were too high following the Eagles' 32-9 loss to make a final decision such as retirement.

"I just don't think you're in a position after a game like that to really make that decision. I just don't," Kelce said in the episode released Wednesday. "There's too much emotion in the moment. There's too much going down in the moment to really fully grasp that decision.

"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."

Kelce did acknowledge that he addressed his Eagles teammates in the locker room, telling them, "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, motherf---ers," Kelce said, before pausing to collect his emotions.

Kelce was also visibly emotional at the end of the Eagles' loss Monday and declined to talk with reporters in the locker room after the game.

As Eagles players cleaned out their lockers Wednesday, Kelce told reporters that he would not take questions about his retirement decision.

Kelce's contract is expiring after the season, his 13th in the NFL. He is a six-time All-Pro, earning that honor for the third straight year in 2023.

He reiterated on his podcast the uncertainty around his future and the rest of the team after a season that ended with an unexpected 1-6 finish following a 10-1 start that made the Eagles an early Super Bowl contender.

"I think there was a lot of emotion in the room. I don't know what the future holds for anybody in that building right now," Kelce said.

Information from ESPN's Tim McManus was used in this report.

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