Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce has hung up his cleats after 13 remarkable seasons in the NFL. As the news of his retirement reverberates through football circles, fans and teammates alike are left reflecting on the legacy of this extraordinary player.
In his final game, a wild-card playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kelce was caught on camera, tears welling up in his eyes.
It was a poignant moment, one that hinted at the end of an era. As he walked off the field, he saluted the fans who had cheered him on for over a decade.
Jason Kelce’s journey began when he was drafted by the Eagles in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL draft out of Cincinnati. Despite being a late-round pick, he quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with.
His passion for the game, unwavering work ethic, and unyielding commitment to excellence made him a beloved figure in the City of Brotherly Love.
Longtime Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson summed it up best: “If it was his last game, he’s one of the best teammates I ever had, a guy whose passion was unmatched.”
Kelce’s impact extended beyond the field. His leadership, camaraderie, and dedication left an indelible mark on the franchise.
Is Jason Kelce in the Hall of Fame?
Jason Kelce’s accolades are nothing short of impressive. He was named first team All Pro six times and earned seven Pro Bowl selections during his illustrious career all while donning the Eagles’ green and white.
His consistency and durability were equally remarkable, playing in 193 out of 211 regular-season games, every single one of them as a starter.
Jason Kelce’s crowning achievement came in Super Bowl LII, where he played a pivotal role in the Eagles’ historic victory over the New England Patriots. His fiery speech during the championship parade, clad in a Mummer’s costume, became legendary.
Philadelphia embraced him not just as a player but as a symbol of resilience and passion.
Jason Kelce joins an elite group of centers in NFL history. Only four others Dermontti Dawson, Jim Otto, Jim Ringo, and Bulldog Turner have earned at least six first-team All-Pro selections. Each of them is enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Jason Kelce will be eligible for induction in 2029, and there’s little doubt that his name will be etched alongside the greats.
Eagles fans were emotionally stirred by Jason Kelce’s retirement announcement. Social media platforms buzzed with heartfelt tributes, memories, and gratitude.
In essence, Eagles fans celebrated Jason Kelce’s retirement with a mix of gratitude, nostalgia, and a touch of sadness. His impact transcended the football field, leaving an indelible mark on the city and its passionate supporters. 🦅💚
Why is Jason Kelce Retiring?
Playing for the Eagles has become an annual reflection for Jason Kelce. Talks about his retirement started in previous years, but he has always decided to return. This time, he is leaving for good for his family and himself.
He and his wife, Kylie, have three daughters with whom he would like to spend more time. Likewise, extending his career might aggravate the risks for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
He has contemplated that condition in the Amazon Prime Video documentary series about him. Kelce is fearful that he might suffer from brain disease and all its side effects.
As Hayes wrote, Kelce revealed he had difficulty preparing for Wednesdays, when teams started practicing for their upcoming game. Team meetings often occur on Monday, while players get a day off on Tuesday.
Football’s mental toll on him isn’t limited to physical training. It also includes being the only adult in the locker room, even when their coaches are present. Playing “nursemaid to two young, insecure quarterbacks in nine years” was too much to handle.
While Hayes didn’t specifically identify who those signal-callers are, it’s a small sample size because the Eagles had six starting quarterbacks from 2014 to 2023.
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