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Jason Kelce Reportedly Told Teammates He’s Retiring After Eagles’ Emotional Playoffs Loss

Jason Kelce is seemingly ready to hang up his football helmet for good.

Kelce, 36, and the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32-9 in their wild card game on Monday, January 15. NFL insider Adam Schefter reported one day after the team’s emotional defeat that Kelce informed his fellow Eagles in the locker room that he’s retiring after 13 years in the league.

As the clock ran out on Monday night, Kelce was seen looking glum on the sideline. “That looks like a man filled with emotion,” an announcer said during the broadcast. “You wonder if that’s it for 36-year-old Jason Kelce.”

Kelce chatted with offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland and looked up to the stands, where his wife, Kylie Kelce, looked equally overwhelmed with emotion. A teary-eyed Jason walked over to the crowd, shaking dad Ed Kelce’s hand after the game.

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Jason, who has one Super Bowl ring under his belt, previously admitted he was considering retiring during a conversation with The NFL Report’s Steve Wyche and James Palmer in December 2023.

Jason Kelce Retires From NFL After 13 Years With Philadelphia Eagles
Jason Kelce #62 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on from the bench during the fourth quarter of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on January 15, 2024 in Tampa, Florida. Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

“We took on a lot last year, and it ended up working out really, really well for Travis [Kelce] and I at the end of the season, although we did come up one game short,” Jason said, referring to Super Bowl LVII, where the Kansas City Chiefs reigned victorious over the Eagles. “You know, I think it is a lot, and I think the way we’ve justified it as a family is that this is going to be over pretty soon here.”

He continued, “If it’s this year, which it very well could be, we want to make sure that we’re ready to go when football is done, and with all of these different opportunities and things, to figure out what it is we want to do with our retirement. And then on top of that, just enjoy the last time you have left with the guys you have.”

Months after the Super Bowl LVII loss, Jason admitted the game’s result “played a factor” in his decision to step on the field again.

“I don’t think it should. I wish it didn’t,” he said on the “Rich Eisen Show” in April 2023. “But I do think that when you go that far and get that close and it doesn’t happen, I think your emotions and energy get going, and you want to do that.”

Jason previously got candid about retirement in the Prime Video documentary Kelce, where he confessed that it was “getting harder and harder to play” with each passing year.

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“There have been little things that are not big things yet but are going to turn into big things the longer I play,” he said.

Since he was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Jason has faced his fair share of injuries. In 2012, he tore his MCL and suffered a partial tear to his ACL. In 2018, he played through three during the season — including a Grade 2 MCL sprain and injuries to his foot, elbow and shoulder.

Jason Kelce Retires From NFL After 13 Years With Philadelphia Eagles 2
Jason Kelce #62 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates on the field after defeating the New York Giants 38-7 in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 21, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Jason’s wife, Kylie, also weighed in on her husband stepping back from the game during the Kelce documentary, saying, “I don’t think that people realize the beating you’re taking then impacts the way you interact with your family.”

Kylie, 31, theorized that the timing of Jason’s retirement might align well with the birth of their third daughter, Bennett, 10 months, who they welcomed after the 2023 Super Bowl — but her husband went on to play another season with the Eagles. (The pair also share daughters Wyatt, 4, and Elliotte, 2.)

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“I always tell people, no matter what happens with football, how it ends, I would like him to retire when he is still able to get down on the floor and play with our kids comfortably,” Kylie, who gave birth to Bennett less than two weeks after Super Bowl LVII, explained.

When speaking with retired Eagles player Connor Barwin in the Kelce documentary, Jason said he’s “fearful” about what could happen to his body after he retires, namely Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

“I have two girls, and some people end up getting CTE, some guys live long healthy lives, I have no idea what’s gonna happen,” Jason said. “The way I’ve rationalized it to myself is, nobody’s guaranteed tomorrow, nobody’s guaranteed years in advance.”

He continued, “If I get CTE and can’t interact with my grandkids, I would still say playing 12 years in the NFL, making my family prosperous, and being an influential member of the city of Philadelphia is a good trade-off.”

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During his 13 years with the Eagles, Kelce compiled an impressive resume. In the 2011 season, he became the first rookie to start all 16 games in his position. He was also named to six Pro Bowl teams, five All-Pro 1st teams and has been featured five times on the NFL Top 100 list.

Off the field, he and his family have used their platform to help their philanthropic efforts. Throughout Jason’s time with the NFL, he and Kylie have worked closely with the Eagles Autism Foundation, which raises awareness and funds for those within the autism community. While Jason’s involvement with the NFL has come to an end, Kylie shared that their commitment to the foundation will be lifelong.

“EAF knows that they can’t get rid of me,” Kylie told The Philadelphia Inquirer in January 2023. “Even if I’m not there in an official capacity, I’ll just keep volunteering. Once football is done, but let’s be real, I don’t think football will ever be done. But once Jason is done snapping the football on a regular basis, I can’t see us ever not having a part in EAF. We have that personal connection and we could never step away.”

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