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Eagles’ Jason Kelce Announces Retirement

Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce tearfully announced his retirement from the NFL at a press conference Monday. The move marks the end of a legendary career for the franchise icon. 

“Thank you, Philadelphia, from the bottom of my heart,” Kelce said. “Thank you for letting me represent this city and allowing me into your homes every Sunday.”

Kelce, 36, was selected in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL draft by the Eagles and developed into one of the best centers in league history. Despite getting picked No. 191 overall, he earned a starting position his rookie year and never lost the job. He made 193 regular-season starts for Philadelphia, and he holds the Eagles franchise record with 156 consecutive starts.

Kelce earned first-team All-Pro honors six times and was named to seven Pro Bowls. The crowning achievement of his career came in February 2018 when he helped the Eagles win Super Bowl LII against the New England Patriots to deliver the city its first Lombardi Trophy. 

“It is difficult to put into words how much Jason Kelce has meant to everyone in the organization, to the city of Philadelphia, and to our fans,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. “He gave everything he had to all of us for 13 years, and he did it in a way that was truly authentic.” 

Kelce’s last game came in a wild-card loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in January, and it was reported afterward that he informed teammates that he planned on retiring. However, he publicly maintained he still was mulling his future. As of Monday, though, Kelce has made his decision.

Kelce will become eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2029.