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Eagles’ Jason Kelce Teases Retirement After Strong HOF Endorsement


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Eagles’ Jason Kelce Teases Retirement After Strong HOF Endorsement

  • Updated Feb 4, 2022 at 7:38pm
Jason Kelce

Getty: Eagles center Jason Kelce attempted to fire up his teammates with an emotional speech.

Jason Kelce hasn’t officially made a decision regarding retirement, but his heart seems to be pulling him in one direction. The Philadelphia Eagles’ All-Pro center hasn’t lost his competitive fire, something that may compel him to return in 2022.

Kelce, who pulled out of the Pro Bowl, jumped on with the SportsRadio 94WIP Midday Show on the fourth anniversary of Super Bowl LII. The 34-year-old chatted about his NFL future, his Hall-of-Fame candidacy, and Doug Pederson’s new job in Jacksonville. He sounded like a man who had some unfinished business.

"We’ll see (about returning),” Kelce said, as transcribed by Eagle Maven. "I want to, but I gotta make sure it’s the smart thing to do, that I can still do that and be a good teammate, a good leader, and a good player. As long as I can do all three of those then I’m definitely coming back.”



The king of Super Bowl speeches has contemplated retirement every single offseason since 2018. Kelce has cited the intense wear and tear on his aging body, plus the desire to spend more time with his wife and two young daughters. But going out on a bad note — losing 31-15 in the wild-card round — may force a return.

"I think the competitive side of me really wants to keep playing,” Kelce said. "There’s no question about that, but it’s getting harder every single year.”

Next Stop, Pro Football Hall of Fame?

There are only six modern-day centers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, with 11 total centers receiving gold jackets. It’s a very subjective position to evaluate, one that factors in scheme and supporting cast.

Kelce has a stronger case than anyone else out there. He qualified for his fifth straight Pro Bowl this year while making three All-Pro teams. He is only the 12th center in NFL history to do that. And the other 11 are all in the Hall of Fame, according to NBC Sports’ Reuben Frank.

"When I play next to great players and have great coaches, I play really well, but I don’t know if that’s indicative of a Hall of Fame player,” Kelce told SportsRadio 94WIP. "That’s such a rare opportunity that so many things have to go right for that to happen.”

Centers Greatly Undervalued in Canton

Former Pro Bowl guard Mark Schlereth believes Kelce has done enough to be fitted for a bronze bust. He has called countless Eagles games as an analyst for FOX Sports, including four contests in 2021. The one-time member of the famed "Hogs” thinks Kelce is the NFL’s best blocker in space at any position.

"There’s nobody better in space in the league when it comes to offensive lineman regardless of position than Jason Kelce. It’s unreal,” Schlereth told Heavy. "In my mind, he’s a Hall of Famer.”


Schlereth admitted the responsibilities of a center have changed, thanks in large part to scheme and athleticism. Centers pull like guards do in today’s game. That wasn’t happening in his day. He put Kelce on the same level as Hall of Famers Dermontti Dawson and Kevin Mawae while shouting them out for changing preconceived notions about the position.

"It’s funny because that position has changed to some degree,” Schlereth said. "When I was playing, there was only a handful of guys that could move and that you could pull and you could do those things. Those guys [Dawson, Mawae] were really the precursors to a lot of the stuff you see today from an athleticism standpoint.”


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