Well, here’s something you didn’t want to read: Jason Kelce might be playing his last game with the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
610 ESPN Radio Philadelphia writer/host Al Thompson reports Kelce is likely to retire whenever the Eagles’ 2019 playoff run is over.
A non NFL source with ties to his family informs that at the end of this playoff run, Eagles Pro Center Jason Kelce will likely retire. Since the 2011 sixth round pic out of Cincinnati is healthy, it's unknown if it's for a job in the media or another opportunity. Kelce is 31. pic.twitter.com/sncqh5oX2y— Al Thompson (@thompsonIII) January 12, 2019
For those unfamiliar with Thompson, he’s a credentialed Eagles reporter who regularly covers the team from the NovaCare Complex in South Philly.
Assuming this report is true, it’s obviously not good news for the Eagles. Kelce is arguably the best center in the NFL. He’s been critical to the team’s success. Not to mention he’s been such a lovable fan favorite ever since the Eagles selected in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
If Kelce retires, the Eagles could be looking at Stefen Wisniewski or Isaac Seumalo as their starting center in 2019. Whoever doesn’t start at center could be starting at left guard.
It’s not totally implausible that Kelce would hang ‘em up. He turned 31 in November and he’s about to wrap up his eighth NFL season. Including playoffs, he’s started and played 115 games over his career. He’s often played through nagging injuries in recent years, so maybe he just feels like his body can’t take the grind much longer. He also might feel like there’s not much more to accomplish, especially if the Eagles win their second straight Super Bowl this postseason.
With that said, there are some conflicting reports about Kelce’s intentions. BGN alumnus Mike Kaye says a decision regarding Kelce’s future has not been made.
As of now, I’m told #Eagles center Jason Kelce hasn’t made any decisions at all about his future regarding retirement, per a source close to the player.— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) January 12, 2019
NFL insider Adam Caplan also said he heard Thompson’s report is “inaccurate.”
It’s worth noting that Kelce is currently signed through 2020. His deal contains no guaranteed money once this season is over, however. If Kelce does retire, the Eagles would save $6.5 million in cap space with zero dead money.
If Kelce doesn’t retire, perhaps the Eagles will rework his deal so that he gets some more financial security. Maybe the threat of him retiring is some kind of leverage play to help him get a revised contract? Total speculation on my part.
It’d be much more preferable if Kelce’s last game with the Eagles was at this year’s Super Bowl, not in the Superdome. It’d be even more preferable for Kelce to not retire after this season (or ever, really). Hopefully he’s back for the 2019 season.