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Jason Kelce retires from the Philadelphia Eagles after 13 seasons in the NFL

PHILADELPHIA, Pa - Jason Kelce made it official during a press conference Monday afternoon at NovaCare Complex. He is retiring from the NFL.


Kelce, the Philadelphia Eagles center, who was drafted by the team in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, has announced his decision to retire from the NFL after 13 seasons in the league, seven Pro Bowl selections, six first-team All-Pro selections and one Super Bowl title.


During an emotional press conference this afternoon, Kelce looked back on his lifelong love of football, which began during his childhood in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.


"Stepping on the field was the most alive and free I had ever felt," he said. "It was a visceral feeling with football unlike any other sport."


Kelce, a father of three also thanked numerous coaches, teammates, and "cafeteria workers" along the way, too numerous to name, he said.


Earlier on X, he said, "No Keg videos this year, I have come to a decision and will address it at a press conference this afternoon."


Jason Kelce during his emotional retirement speech Monday afternoon


At one point Kelce said, “It’s getting harder and harder to play," "There have been little things that are not big things yet but are going to turn into big things the longer I play."


He also said, “I am fearful about what the impacts of playing football are going to mean long-term,” “I have two girls and some people end up getting CTE and some guys live long, healthy lives. I have no idea what’s gonna happen.”


Kelce, 36 has three young daughters, Wyatt, 4, Elliotte, 3, and Bennett, 12 months.


Kelce has not been without injuries. In 2012, Kelce tore his MCL and suffered a partial tear to his ACL, and in 2018, he played through the season with a Grade 2 MCL sprain and injuries to his foot, elbow and shoulder.


After the Philadelphia Eagles unsuccessful Super Bowl against Kansas City Chiefs, Kelce said, "Every logical thing is telling me I should stop playing football. I’ve got to tear my body apart.”


Kelce is the older brother of Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. The two played each other during the Super Bowl.