Eagles All-Pro C Jason Kelce announces retirement after 13 seasons

When Jason Kelce posted about keg stands on X Monday morning, Philadelphia Eagles fans knew what it meant: their beloved All-Pro center would be announcing his retirement after 13 years in the NFL.

At Eagles headquarters on Monday afternoon, Kelce gave one of the great retirement speeches of all time, tearfully recounting his journey through the game and thanking everyone who helped him get there. He has never been afraid to share his emotions with the world, and this was no exception. He frequently stopped to let out the tears and compose himself. After dedicating his entire adult life thus far to playing Hall-of-Fame-caliber football for the Eagles, he knew he'd earned it.

Even his brother, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, couldn't hold back the tears.

Jason Kelce thanked everyone he possibly could, from family to friends to coaches and even his old band teacher in high school. He thanked college classmates from Cincinnati, where he was a walk-on, all four NFL head coaches he's played for (Andy Reid, Chip Kelly, Doug Pederson and Nick Sirianni), and the only boss he's ever had: Jeffrey Lurie, owner of the Eagles.

FILE – Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce speaks at the conclusion of the NFL team's Super Bowl victory parade in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Feb. 8, 2019. Jason Kelce has retired after 13 seasons with the Eagles. Kelce officially called it quits Monday, March 4, 2024, at the Eagles’ complex in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

He discussed how some of his biggest moments felt, like being part of the Philly Special in the Super Bowl, and making an iconic speech at the parade.

Kelce spoke about playing in Philadelphia, a city he understands better than perhaps any athlete ever.

“Yes, they will let you know when you're not performing well every time. But they will also love you if you show effort, aggression, desire, the will to fight. They will love you in this city if you love it.”

He recalled going out to a joint called Buffalo Billiards with his teammates after an Eagles Christmas party several years ago, where "my life would change forever." He met his future wife Kylie that night, and since then his career flourished. They now have three young daughters they're raising in the Philly area.

He thanked his parents for being strong, loving, firm, kind, supportive, thoughtful and inspirational. And, of course, he had loving words for his brother, Travis.

A short time later, Kelce finally said the words "I'm retiring from the NFL" and ended his speech.

"That's all I've got," he said. It was more than enough.

Once Kelce stepped away from the mic, the Eagles posted a loving message on social media, penned by Lurie himself.

As for what Kelce will do now, he's got the entire world at his feet. He and his brother have an enormously successful podcast. He's beloved around the NFL and especially in Philadelphia. He's smart, funny, eloquent and fiercely motivational. He could do anything. But right now, he's not sure what he wants to do. No one would blame him if he did absolutely nothing for awhile. He's earned it.