Philadelphia Eagles star center Jason Kelce said he will make an official announcement about the status of his NFL career “in the near future.”
“I'm not trying to be dramatic and paint this thing,” Kelce said on Wednesday's episode of “New Heights,” the podcast he hosts with his brother Travis. “When I think it's time to officially announce what's going on in the future, it's going to be done in a way that's concrete and honoring a lot of people and individuals that mean a lot to me. The career I've had.”
Following the Eagles' loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night, multiple reports said Kelce was planning to retire from the NFL after his 13th season, and that he informed his teammates of his decision in the locker room following the wild card loss.
Gells said Wednesday that he “intentionally” did not publicly announce what he was doing.
“I don't think you're in a position to make that decision after a game like that,” he told his brother.
He cited the tough loss and the emotions he felt at the end of a promising season, which saw the Eagles start 10-1 before losing six of their last seven games.
In a podcast, Kelce addressed the team following the game, telling his teammates: “I have confidence in every single one of you. Enjoy the moments you have in this league.
“That's the way it went down,” he said.
Kelce said players told him they regretted his final playoff loss.
“I'm like, 'Don't feel sorry for me,'” Kelce said, visibly fighting back emotion before pausing.
Hopeless Eagles end once-promising season: 'It's not our turn'
After Monday's game, Kelce walked off the field alone, turned the corner of the tunnel and was immediately met by general manager Howie Roseman outside the visitors' locker room. Both shook hands and hugged. Kelce dressed at his locker and politely shook his head as he faced a group of waiting reporters.
“No, guys,” Kelce said. “Not today. Sorry.”
There may be no other active NFL player who identifies more closely with the city in which he plays. Kells is most fittingly Philadelphia. A sixth-round pick in 2011, he was an underdog in a city that defines itself by them. The 36-year-old will be leaving the Gells at the top of his game by retiring just one season after earning his sixth All-Pro selection.
He has discussed retirement on a public basis, both privately and publicly, over the past year. Kelce told reporters last week that the thought of playing his last game first entered his mind three seasons ago.
His health and quality of life were a major topic in the Amazon Prime documentary “Kells,” which was the focus throughout the 2022 season.
Kelce's football legacy makes him an instant legend in both NFL and Philadelphia sports lore and a likely candidate for first ballot induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Kelce is the fifth center in league history to be named an All-Pro at least six times. Four others — Dermoty Dawson, Jim Otto, Jim Ringo and Bulldog Turner — are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.