Philadelphia Eagles star Jason Kelce on Wednesday addressed reports that he announced his retirement after Monday's season-ending loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, saying on his podcast that "in the future, there will be something said."
Kelce, considered one of the best centers in the NFL, reportedly told his teammates he was retiring in the locker room after the Eagles' 32-9 wild-card playoff loss to the Bucs, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said on X.
Speaking on his "New Heights" podcast hosted with his younger brother, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, the future Pro Football Hall of Famer said he doesn't have retirement plans set in stone.
"I don’t know what next year is going to look like with the team. Coaches, players...," Kelce said. "I just want to make sure everybody knows how much I love and respect and appreciate the effort and energy they put into the year. I know the outcome, Philadelphia, was not acceptable, but I love each and every person in that room."
He added that he didn't announce his plans for the NFL next season "on purpose."
"I just don’t think you’re in a position after a game like that to really make that decision. I just don’t. There’s too much emotion in the moment, there’s too much going down in the moment, to really fully grasp that decision. I’m not trying to be dramatic and continue to draw this thing out, I’m really not," Kelce said.
"It's just something that I think, when it’s time to officially announce what’s happening in the future, it’ll be done at in a way that’s definitive and pays respect to a lot of people and individuals that have meant a lot to me and what has led to the career I've had," he said.
"I don't think that it would be respectful or even accurate to be able to do that right after a game like that. ... But, in the future, there will be something said, I guess," he said.
Kelce said he did address the team after the game, but it was reiterating belief and love for his teammates.
He paused during the podcast after becoming emotional, prompting his brother to offer some encouragement.
"Hell yeah, brother," Travis Kelce said.
"There’s a lot of emotion in the room, for sure," Kelce replied. "I don’t know what the future holds for anybody in that building right now."
He noted that exit interviews for teams who didn't make it through the playoffs will start soon, a time when players meet with the team and usually decide their plans for the next season.
"And we’ll all be on the edge of our f------ seats waiting to see what decision you make, big guy," his brother said.
Kelce, 36, a native of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, is the fifth center in NFL history with at least six All-Pro selections. The four others are all in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
He played the 2023 season on a one-year contract and is set to become a free agent in March.