Amid reports that Philadelphia Eagles legend Jason Kelce is expected to retire after 13 seasons in the NFL, the veteran center is now publicly addressing those rumors for the first time.
In the latest episode of his "New Heights" podcast with brother Travis, the elder Kelce explained why he hasn't officially announced his plans for the future despite what's been "leaked to the media."
Jason Kelce was visibly upset following his team's playoff loss Monday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with many fans and those in the media speculating that it could be the 36-year-old's final NFL game.
"I'm not trying to be dramatic and continue to draw this thing out. I'm really not," Kelce told his brother. "It's just something I think that 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, and what has led to the career I've had."
Kelce, pausing occasionally to gather his composure, added that he had already relayed his future plans to his teammates and told them to "cherish the moments you have in this league."
When the time is right, you'll hear from the man himself
— New Heights (@newheightshow) January 17, 2024
Kelce went on to explain the emotional embrace he shared with longtime Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland following Monday night's loss.
"Whenever I realized that it could be potentially one of the last times I get to do that with him, I just really want to make sure he knows how much I appreciate him," he said. "Didn't want to get emotional, but what can you do?"
Kelce was drafted by the Eagles in the sixth round of the 2011 draft and quickly established himself as one of the premier centers in the NFL. The seven-time Pro-Bowler and six-time All-Pro center has been a vital part of the team's success in recent years, including the team's historic Super Bowl LII win against the New England Patriots in the 2017 season.
Kelce has spent all of his 13-year career in Philadelphia and will undeniably go down as one of the greatest to ever play the position.
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