Jason Kelce Clarifies Retirement Reports, Says He Was Caught in ‘Emotion’


Jason Kelce is speaking out to clarify that rumors of his retirement may have been greatly exaggerated. Or at least, an official decision hasn’t been made yet.

Following the Eagles heartbreaking 32–9 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during Monday night’s wild-card game—putting an early end to the postseason for the team that, until just recently, held the best record in the NFL—Kelce reportedly told teammates in the postgame locker room that he was planning to retire.

Considering that the 36-year-old had previously mulled retirement, fans took the reports at face value with an outpouring of tributes for the future Hall of Fame center on social media. But on his New Heights podcast on Wednesday which he hosts with his brother, Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs, Kelce clarified his remarks.

While he lamented the “frustrating” end to the season, he said he was holding off until exit interviews to make a concrete decision.

“I don’t know what next year is going to look like with the team, and coaches and players,” Kelce explained, noting that there would be some changes coming, either way. “I just want to make sure everybody knows how much I love and respect and appreciate the effort and energy they put into the year. I know the outcome was not acceptable, but I love each and every person in that room.”

“I didn’t announce what I was doing on purpose despite I guess what’s been leaked to the media,” he continued. “But I think people can kind of feel body language and stuff.

“I just don’t think you’re in a position after a game like that to really make that decision. I just don’t,” he clarified. “There’s too much emotion in the moment, there’s too much going down in the moment, to really fully grasp that decision. I’m not trying to be dramatic and continue to draw this thing out, I’m really not.

“It’s just something that I think, you know, when it’s time to officially announce what’s happening in the future, it’ll be done in a way that’s definitive and pays respect to a lot of people and individuals that have meant a lot to me and what has led to the career I’ve had,” Kelce reasoned. “And, you know, I don’t think that it would be respectful or even accurate to be able to do that right after a game like that.

“You know, frustrated, I guess, at everything that’s happening, but in the future there’ll be something said,” he reiterated. “But I did address the team and pretty much said the same thing that I just said to you. Which is just, ‘I believe in every single one of you guys. Cherish the moments you have in this league.'”

“A lot of guys [said], ‘If that is your last game, I feel sorry for you.'” Kelce recalled. “I’m like, ‘Don’t feel sorry for me, mother f–kers. I had a f–king…”

At that point, he trained off, still caught up in the emotion, while Travis offered some words of support. “Hell yeah, brother,” he said, while Jason had a chance to collect himself. “Hell yeah man.”

“Either way, I just truly appreciated everybody in that room,” Kelce added. ” I’d go to war with them any day of the week and enjoy the time you’ve got. I think there was a lot of emotion in that room, for sure. So, I don’t know what the future holds for anybody in that building right now.”

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