NFL Superstar Jason Kelce Announces Retirement After 13 Seasons 

Philadelphia Eagles star center Jason Kelce announced in an emotional speech this week that he would be retiring from the NFL in what many are hailing as a Hall of Fame-worthy career.

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Jason Kelce, the star center of the Philadelphia Eagles, announced in an emotional, tear-filled speech Monday that he would be retiring from the NFL after 13 seasons of what many are calling a Hall of Fame-worthy career. 

“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. 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,” Kelce said

Kelce played his entire 13-year career with the Eagles after being a sixth-round draft selection back in 2011. “It has always been a goal of mine to play my whole career in one city. I couldn’t have dreamt a better one if I tried,” Kelce emotionally stated.

“Stepping on the field was the most alive and free I had ever felt. There was a visceral feeling with football, unlike any sport. The hairs on my arms would stand up. I could hit somebody, run around like a crazed lunatic and then get told, ‘Good job.’ I love football.” 

Kelce was supported by family and loved ones in the audience, including his parents, Ed and Donna, and his with Kylie, as well as his brother Travis Kelce, the star tight end of the Kansas City Chiefs.’

While Kelce had debated retiring in the past, it wasn’t until after the wild-card loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that Kelce would officially move to end his time in the NFL, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter

“If it was his last game, he was one of the best teammates I’ve ever had. A guy whose passion is unmatched. A guy who I saw Philly try to run him out of town. I saw a guy emerge from that and become the best center maybe that’s ever played,” right tackle Lane Johnson said. 

“Jason gave of himself for others, played through injuries, and never wavered through all the ups and downs of our seasons and his own personal career,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement

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“[Kelce] is a man of many talents — he could chug beers with fans at a tailgate, he could sing in a Christmas album and raise millions for charity, or he could talks X’s and O’s all day with coaches and teammates. Then after all that, he could do things out on the football field that no other offensive linemen are capable of doing.”

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“If you talk to anyone in the organization about what Jason has meant to them, they would all come up with something different. That is a testament to who he is as a person and how much he cares about connecting with others,” Lurie said

“I have been the underdog my entire career, and I mean this when I say it, I still wish I was,” Kelce said as he went on to praise Philadelphia and the hardcore Eagles fanbase, citing the parade the city held after the team won the 2017 Super Bowl. 

“I won’t forget the parade and what it meant to the city of Philadelphia. The joy in our community and the closure it gave so many. The stories from fans that had been waiting generations for that moment fulfilled that triumph to another level. … That wasn’t my speech. It was Philadelphia’s,” Kelce stated

“Today is a bittersweet day, because while it is hard to imagine the Eagles taking the field without Jason Kelce in uniform, we are also excited to celebrate his career and support him as his journey continues,” Lurie concluded.