Jason Kelce’s farewell

Jason Kelce during his final divisional playoff round in January. Photo Courtesy of the Associated Press.

By Paige Albright

Boston University News Service

After 13 seasons, six all-pro honors and a Super Bowl ring, Jason Kelce of the Philadelphia Eagles announced his retirement on March 4. In a press conference, he told the press that last season was his final in the NFL.

“So, this all brings us here to today, where I announce that I am retiring from the NFL after 13 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. And today, I must admit, I am officially overrated. Vastly overrated. But f—, it took a lot of hard work and determination getting here. I have been the underdog my entire career, and I mean this when I say it: I wish I still was,” said Kelce during his retirement speech.

The Ohio native played four years at the University of Cincinnati. However, he truly started making waves after being drafted by the Eagles. Kelce will be remembered as one of the greatest centers in NFL history, with one of the highest ratings throughout his time in the league, especially during his thirties when he received three out of his six all-pro honors. 

Filling Kelce’s spot on and off the field is no small feat. Eagles teammates and coaches have spoken out on Kelce’s impact in the locker room and with helping newer players develop. His years of experience and knowledge of the sport allowed him to coach teammates on their upcoming opponent’s tactics even before seeing film. 

Kelce’s “shadow” Cam Jurgens is expected to take over on the offensive line next season, and Kelce has stated his support for the new chapter for the offensive line in Philadelphia. Kelce’s emphasized Jurgen’s youth and speed out matching his level of play. However, who will step up to be the team leader like Kelce, is still up in the air.  

Kelce’s retirement has been a looming reality in recent years, and, beyond the Eagle’s sub-par end to last season, Kelce had been considering retirement publicly for a few years. In his and his brother’s, Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce, documentary, he expresses that “the Wednesdays are getting harder,” referring to the “Monday” of the NFL world as athletes start their work week on Wednesdays.

Kelce spoke about how the wear on his body was starting to catch up to him, and that he was starting to be limited on his off days by how sore games and practice made him. With three daughters, Kelce stressed how important it is to him to be able to be there for them and how his time as a professional athlete has naturally run its course.

“She [Kelce’s wife, Kylie Kelce] has also given me three beautiful girls and a life that increasingly brings me more fulfillment off the field than it does on,” said Kelce.

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