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Philadelphia Eagles’ Jason Kelce announces NFL retirement after 13 seasons

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(PHILADELPHIA) — Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce announced his retirement on Monday after 13 seasons in the NFL.

The Super Bowl champion and seven-time Pro Bowler held a press conference at the Eagles facility to share the announcement.

In an emotional speech, Jason Kelce highlighted the many highs and lows of his time in the NFL and his college years, explaining what drew him to the game.

“I’ve been asked many times: Why did I choose football? What drew me to the game? And I never have an answer that gets it right,” he said. “The best way I could explain it is what draws you to your favorite song … your favorite book. It’s what it makes you feel. The seriousness of it. The intensity of it. Stepping on the field was the most alive and free I had ever felt.”

He also looked back on his 13-year career with the Eagles, which he recounted as “filled with ups and downs.”

“This all brings us here to today, where I announce … I am retiring from the NFL after 13 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles,” he said.

In addition to thanking his coaches, support staff, college trainers and loved ones for their support through the years, Jason Kelce also gave a special shoutout to his wife Kylie Kelce, with whom he shares three children.

“I think it’s no coincidence, I have enjoyed my best years of my career with Kylie by my side,” he said. “Every accolade I have ever received has come with her in my life. She’s brought the best out of me through love, devotion, support, honesty, intelligence, and, of course, a swift kick in the a– from time to time.”

Jason Kelce also took time to recognize his brother Travis Kelce for his role in shaping the man and player he became.

“There is no chance I’d be here without the bond Travis and I share. It made me stronger, tougher, smarter, and it taught me the values of cooperation loyalty, patience and understanding. It’s only too poetic that I found my career being fulfilled in the City of Brotherly Love. I knew that relationship all too well,” he said.

Jason Kelce gained unique recognition as a center, particularly for the outsized role he played as an offensive lineman, a position that generally does not garner much fanfare.

He is widely considered one of the best centers of his generation, a claim legitimized by his six All-Pro team selections, a distinction awarded at the end of each season.

Last month, during an appearance on “The Big Podcast with Shaq”, Jason Kelce opened up about his possible retirement, stating that he was still “figuring it out” at the time.

His comments came a few weeks after the Eagles’ season-ending loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL playoffs on Jan. 15, after which reports surfaced that Jason Kelce had announced his retirement to his teammates shortly after the game.

Kelce later denied those reports, saying on an episode of his “New Heights” podcast, which he hosts with Travis Kelce, that he wasn’t in the right mindset at that time to make such a big decision.

“I didn’t announce what I was doing on purpose,” he said at the time. “I just don’t think you’re in a position after a game like that to really make that decision.”

“When it’s time to officially announce what’s happening in the future, it will 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,” he said.

Kelce then confirmed reports that he had addressed the Eagles after their loss.

“I got belief in every single one of you guys. Cherish the moments you have in this league,” he recalled telling the team.

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