Eagles’ legend Jason Kelce returning for 2023 season
An Eagles legend is coming back for at least one more season originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Eagles legend Jason Kelce is coming back for at least one more season.
As NFL free agency kicked off on Monday, the Eagles’ 35-year-old center announced his return for the 2023 season.
“I have put much thought into whether it makes sense to play another season,” Kelce said in a statement on Twitter. “After talking it over with my wife and many other friends and family, I have decided to return for another year. Thank you to all my supporters and detractors for fueling me, I ain’t f—ing done yet!”
The Eagles will be happy to have him. Of course, they’ll have to figure out the compensation if they haven’t already, but that is an obstacle they’ll be able to clear. (Kelce made $14 million last season.) The organization has made it abundantly clear that it wanted Kelce back for a 13th season. They will need to figure out his next contract before June.
Kelce is well over 30 now but still played at an incredibly high level in 2022. He started all 17 regular season games and all three in the playoffs. He was also named to another Pro Bowl and was again an All-Pro. In his career, Kelce has been named to six Pro Bowl teams and is a five-time All-Pro center.
Not bad for a sixth-round pick in 2011 out of Cincinnati.
This coming season will be Kelce’s 13th with the Eagles. And with 176 career games in an Eagles uniform, he’s just two games behind Brandon Graham. Both have a chance this season to surpass the franchise leader, David Akers, who played 188 games with the Birds.
Kelce will likely end up in Canton one day as a Hall of Famer. But for now, the Eagles’ legend is returning for at least one more season. In recent years, Kelce has made it very clear that he’s taking his career on a year-by-year basis.
What this means for the Eagles is that 2022 second-round pick Cam Jurgens will not be the starting center this coming season. The Eagles used the No. 51 pick on Jurgens out of Nebraska last year with the idea to find Kelce’s replacement. But Jurgens began cross-training at guard during the season and it seems likely that he’ll be plugged into the starting right guard spot to replace free agent Isaac Seumalo.
The plan last summer was to have Jurgens cross-train at guard but Kelce had a minor surgery that kept him out for most of training camp. So Jurgens got a ton of center reps but it pushed back his training at guard. But he got that training during the season and that should continue this offseason.
Here’s a look at the Eagles’ likely offensive line in 2023:
LT: Jordan Mailata
LG: Landon Dickerson
C: Jason Kelce
RG: Cam Jurgens
RT: Lane Johnson
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