Jason Kelce retires in crushing blow to Philadelphians who love him

The former center leaves behind a trail of tears and a lasting impact.
Jason Kelce dons a mummers costume at the Super Bowl Parade.
Jason Kelce dons a mummer’s costume at the Super Bowl Parade.
Governor Tom Wolf from Harrisburg, PA, CC BY 2.0

After 13 remarkable seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Jason Kelce has officially announced his retirement. The March 4th press conference was filled with tearful goodbyes and bittersweet memories of the past decade of football. Already beginning to feel the loss of an astounding player, the City of Brotherly love feels an aching gratitude for Jason Kelce.

Kelce stepped out into the Press Conference with tears in his eyes before he even began to speak. His wife, Kylie Kelce said that he had been writing and rewriting the speech for the past 13 years, but that this year he finally knew it was time. 

Many Mounties have been watching Kelce on their TV screens since they were three or five years old. They grew up watching Kelce play every Sunday with his flamboyant personality and passion for the city. It only makes saying goodbye so much harder.

However, while we are sad to see him go, many fans understand the decision: “I know that I am disappointed about hearing the sad news. I think that it is a good time for him to retire because he is starting to get old and he needs to care more about his health and think about other things in his future,” said Natalie Reynolds ‘26.

“I’m really sad about it but I also think it is good for him. He was suffering a lot with his injuries this past season, so I think he deserves the break. And I know he is going to have such a great influence on Philadelphia for the rest of his life,” said Madi McErlean ‘26.

Madi McErlean ‘26

The now former center of the Eagles’ offensive line has been with the Philadelphia Eagles for some of the most exultant highs and crushing lows the team has ever faced. Signing with the Eagles in the 2011 round of the NFL draft, Jason Kelce has been with the team through two super bowls and helped the team make it to the playoffs seven out of the last thirteen years.  

Brother Travis Kelce, parents, teammates, coaches, and Kylie Kelce were all at the press conference in the audience to support the now former Eagle. And like most fans watching the conference from their screens, bittersweet tears were falling down their faces. 

Kelce helped the Eagles bring home the ultimate trophy in Super Bowl LII in 2018 and even faced his brother, Travis Kelce, on the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII in 2023. And while the Birds ultimately lost that game, it certainly meant a lot to the city to fly that far. 

Kelce is truly a man who loves the city of Philadelphia with everything he has. He is married to a diehard Eagles fan, who even said that if Kelce was ever traded to another NFL team and they happened to play the Eagles, she would be cheering for the Birds. 

Diehard Eagles fan and Dean of Student Life Ms. Beren said, “I think he’s a great player, but I love his character. The character is the key thing for me. I love a lot of players, and I love how he puts himself in the community. You know he’s down the shore, and he has made himself a part of the Philadelphia tradition. Great player, and I’m really going to miss him.” 

He has gone out and played every single game not for the glory, but for Philadelphia. Philadelphians are the most passionate sports fans in the country, and Kelce has found it to be an honor to play for the city. And fans can agree that it has certainly been an honor to watch him play.


Jason Kelce with a young fan.

In addition to playing football for the city, Jason Kelce, along with Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata, released a Philly Christmas Special, a Christmas album featuring everyone from Eagles teammates to esteemed recording artists. The record raised over 3 million dollars for several charities in the Philadelphia area.

Eagles trainer Joe O’Pella even wrapped Kelce’s ankles for one last time before the retirement speech. O’Pella had been wrapping Kelce’s ankles for years, but sadly missed Kelce’s final game due to receiving chemotherapy. So Kelce requested that O’Pella be the final person to wrap his legs before his retirement announcement. 

Jason Kelce has made an outstanding impact on the city of Philadelphia, and it will be hard not to see his jersey return to the Lincoln Financial Field next season. However, the city of Philadelphia gives Jason Kelce the utmost gratitude for the past 13 years. He will be greatly missed by the City of Brotherly Love. 

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