Eagles’ Jason Kelce announces retirement from NFL

Jason Kelce

Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce on Monday announced he’s retiring from the NFL after 13 years with the Eagles.

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His announcement came in an emotional news conference.

“I am retiring,” he said before getting choked up. “... I am retiring from the NFL after 13 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, and today I must admit, I am officially overrated. Vastly overrated. But (expletive) it took a lot of hard work and determination getting here.”

Rumors first swirled earlier this year that Kelce was considering exiting the league. At the time, he said he would announce any decision about his professional football career “in a way that’s definitive and pays respect to a lot of people and individuals that have meant a lot to me.”

He made the announcement in a 45-minute speech on Monday.

“It has always been a goal of mine to play my whole career in one city,” he said. “I couldn’t have dreamt a better one if I tried.”

Jeffrey Lurie, the Eagles’ chairman and CEO, said after the announcement that Kelce “would have been successful anywhere,” adding, “But has there ever been a more perfect marriage between a player, a city, and a team?” He praised the 36-year-old for his “grit and determination,” his “intelligence and versatility,” his “passion and intensity” and “the genuine love and care he should his coaches, teammates, and staff.”

“He gave everything he had to all of us for 13 years, and he did it in a way that was truly authentic,” Lurie said.

Kelce joined the Eagles after being picked in the sixth round of the 2011 draft, ESPN reported. He cemented his status as a Philadelphia sports legend with a lively, profanity-filled speech after the Eagles won Super Bowl LII in February 2018, according to The Washington Post.

He will leave the team after 193 games, seven Pro Bowls, six first-team All-Pro nods and two Super Bowls, USA Today reported.

It was not immediately clear what Kelce might do following his NFL career. In addition to football, Jason Kelce and his brother, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, host the popular “New Heights” podcast.

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