Jan 17, 2024 - Sports

Jason Kelce retiring after 13 seasons with the Eagles, per reports

The Eagles' Jason Kelce walks off the field for the last time after a playoff loss to Tampa Bay.

Jason Kelce walks off the field after the Eagles' blowout playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Photo: Perry Knotts/Getty Images

Jason Kelce, the Eagles' All-Pro center known as the "King of South Philly," is hanging up his cleats after 13 seasons in the NFL, according to news reports.

Driving the news: The fan-favorite reportedly told teammates he was retiring in the locker room after the team's blowout playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday, per ESPN.

  • Kelce hugged offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland as the final seconds ticked off the clock and had tears in his eyes as he walked toward the locker room.
  • He declined to speak to reporters after the game.

Why it matters: Kelce is one of the best Eagles to ever don the Kelly green jersey. The surefire future Hall of Famer is up there with the likes of Reggie White and Brian Dawkins.

  • As chronicled in last fall's Amazon Prime documentary "Kelce," he's adored by coaches, teammates and fans for his longevity, tenacity and toughness in playing through injuries, including seven surgeries throughout his career.

What they're saying: Kecle, who announced at the end of last season he wasn't "f—ing done yet," hasn't confirmed the reports of his retirement.

  • But that hasn't stopped teammates from paying their respects.
  • "He's a legend in the city — really in the league," quarterback Jalen Hurts said of his teammate after the game. "His journey to where he is now didn't come easy."

Flashback: Kelce played college football with his brother, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis, at Cincinnati before being taken by the Eagles in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

  • He spent his entire career with the Eagles and ranks second in franchise history in games played beyond only Brandon Graham, per the Inquirer.
  • He played in a franchise-record 156 straight games.

Zoom in: Kelce's favorite song is Guy Clark's "The Cape," an ode that personified how he played the game.

  • "He's still jumpin' off the garage and will be 'till he's dead," Clark sings.
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