Has Jason Kelce played in his final NFL game?
With the Philadelphia Eagles’ season coming to an end with Monday’s playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team’s long-time center now enters the offseason facing an uncertain future.
And if it was Kelce’s last game, it’s probably one he’d like to forget.
Not only did the Eagles surrender four sacks on Monday, but Philadelphia managed just 42 rushing yards on 15 carries for a dismal 2.8-yard average.
He still ranks among the best at the position, but at 36, with the Eagles losing six of their final seven, the All-Pro’s motivation to return could be hindered.
In fact, entering the game, there had been some talk that it could be Kelce’s last performance in an Eagles uniform.
Jason Kelce looks on from the sideline during the first half of Monday’s loss to the Buccaneers
The 36-year-old father of three has played 13 NFL seasons while missing only a handful of games over that time. And recently, he admitted to reporters in Philadelphia that retirement is approaching, whether he likes it or not.
‘I try to remind guys that I’ve done this, and my dad’s told me this from the moment I started playing football: You step off the curb one day and that could be the end of your career,’ he said.
‘So you try and approach every game with that mindset. But obviously, the closer and the older you get to that being a realization puts it out in front maybe a little bit more.
‘But obviously that’s not the main thing. The main thing is, you know, going out there and battling with each of the guys in this locker room.
‘No matter how many more years I play or any of us play, this team right now only has one game left and that’s what we’re really focused on.’
Kelce previously admitted to considering retirement after losing last season’s Super Bowl to brother Travis and the Kansas City Chiefs, before announcing on Twitter (now X) in March that he ‘ain’t f***ing done yet!’
But five months later he said when discussing his hectic NFL schedule: ‘I think it is a lot, and I think the way we’ve justified it as a family is this [playing football] is going to be over pretty soon here. If it’s this year, which it very well could be, we want to make sure that we’re ready to go when football’s done.’
Wearing black team-issued sweats and carrying a leather bag, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce arrived at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for Monday night’s playoff game
Kelce is signed through 2027 after earning $81 million in salary over his 13 NFL seasons.
Regardless of when he retires, the elder Kelce brother will be remembered as one of the best centers of his era, earning All-Pro First Team honors six times and starting for the Eagles in their Super Bowl LII victory over the New England Patriots six years ago.
Jason’s life has changed dramatically since Travis entered a relationship with pop sensation Taylor Swift last year, boosting his and his brother’s level of fame significantly.
However, it has been reported that Swift has an awkward relationship with the Eagles star and his wife Kylie.
Travis’s brother Jason, and his wife Kylie, have apparently not made the singer feel too welcome and comments made to the media about their relationship have upset Swift, according to Life and Style magazine.
In November, before Jason’s Eagles played the Chiefs in Kansas City, Kylie Kelce gave an interview saying that the spotlight ‘is not particularly my cup of tea’ and that she prefers to watch games from the stands rather than the luxury suits from where Swift cheers the Chiefs.
Jason and wife Kylie are said to have an ‘awkward’ relationship with his brother Travis’ new girlfriend Taylor Swift
Jason and Kylie have been more reserved in the spotlight than Travis and his girlfriend
Swift has met Kelce’s parents – mom Donna and father Ed – but so far, there have been no pictures of her meeting with Jason, who Travis is extremely close to, or Kylie.
Life and Style quoted a source as saying: ‘Taylor hasn’t had the best reception from Jason and his wife.’
Kylie’s quotes about the spotlight particularly irked Swift, with the source adding: ‘Taylor took that personally and since then it’s been very awkward.’
Of course, if Jason does retire, Kylie and Taylor probably won’t be running into each other at any NFL stadiums anyway.