February 13, 2023
With red and yellow confetti streaming down upon him in the aftermath of the Philadelphia Eagles' loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Jason Kelce "was a little emotional" when he saw his mother and father. He was less emotional with his brother and podcasting partner Travis, the Chiefs' All-Pro tight end, telling him, "F*** you, congratulations."
As has become his custom the last few offseasons, Kelce will soon decide whether he will continue to play, or if the Eagles' heartbreaking loss to the Chiefs was his last game.
"I mean, it can be," he said. "It could be. It could have been the end for a couple years now."
Last offseason Nick Sirianni sent Jason Kelce a keg of beer as a way to try to convince him to come back for his twelfth NFL season. Kelce accepted, and lead the league' best offensive line while earning his fifth first-team All-Pro nod along the way.
Kelce's contract will effectively void on June 3, so if he is to return, he'll have to agree to a new deal with the front office.
"There's going to be a lot of things going on this offseason," Kelce said. "I don't know how all that is going to transpire. We'll see what the options are and I'll approach it, but I think the end of the season is not the time to make a decision, for me at least, because I am fully exhausted mentally, physically, emotionally."
Performance and the desire to go through the rigors of an NFL season will be the key factors in Kelce's decision.
"You try and weigh whether you think, one, you can still do it at a high level, and two, whether you want to do it," he said. "I think that's the big thing. It's a grind. I know that I could still probably come back and perform at a high level or a good level."
Interestingly, while Kelce is still widely regarded as the best center in the NFL and arguably playing the best football of his career, he believes that his performance is in decline.
"It's getting harder every year," he said. "I'm nowhere near the player I used to be. Jalen Hurts makes all of us look a lot better and makes my job a lot easier. It's only going to go [downhill], and whether you can be accountable to your teammates and perform at that level and mentally you have the energy to be the difference maker that I feel I am in that regard, all that stuff will factor in."
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