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Jason Kelce Says 'There's Too Much Emotion' After Game to Make Retirement Decision: 'Not Trying to Be Dramatic'

"I did address the team and pretty much said, 'I [believe] in every single one of you guys,' " Jason recalled. "'Cherish your moments in this league.' "

<p>Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images</p>  Jason Kelce #62 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on from the bench during the fourth quarter of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on January 15, 2024 in Tampa, Florida.

Jason Kelce is getting candid about the rumors he will retire from the NFL.

The Philadelphia Eagles star center, 36, opened up on his New Heights podcast with brother Travis Kelce about the rumors that he had informed his teammates of his intentions to exit the league after the Eagles' loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and elimination from the playoffs, which had been initially reported by ESPN.

"I just don't think you're in a position after a game like that to really, you know, make that decision. I just don't," Jason said. "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 to continue to draw this thing out," he added. "I'm really not."

Related: Jason Kelce Tells Teammates He’s Retiring from NFL After 13 Seasons with Philadelphia Eagles: Reports

While he did not confirm or deny voicing his intention to retire to his teammates, Jason did share some details about what was said after the game — a speech many have interpreted as indication of is retirement. "I did address the team and pretty much said, 'I [believe] in every single one of you guys,' " he recalled. "'Cherish your moments in this league.' "

<p>Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images</p> Jason Kelce #62 of the Philadelphia Eagles hugs head coach Nick Sirianni during the fourth quarter of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on January 15, 2024 in Tampa, Florida.

Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Jason Kelce #62 of the Philadelphia Eagles hugs head coach Nick Sirianni during the fourth quarter of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on January 15, 2024 in Tampa, Florida.

"That's kind of the way it went down. A lot of guys [said], 'If thats your last game, I feel sorry for you.’ Don't feel sorry for me for me m----------," Jason said while getting emotional on the podcast and talking a moment to catch his breath. "Well either way, I truly appreciated everybody in that room, and I’d go to war with them any day of the week... Enjoy the time you got."

He also discussed his special moment with Eagles coach Jeff Stoutland, when they shared a hug on the field. "I realized that it you know could be potentially one of the last times I get to do that with him, I just really want to make sure he knows how much I appreciate him," Jason said. "Didn't want to get emotional, but what can you do."

Despite saying this — and the fact that, as Jason noted, "people can feel body language and stuff" — the football pro noted that any decisions he makes about his future will be made in an official announcement.

"I think when it's time to officially announce what's happening in the future, it will be done in a way that will be definitive," he noted. "With respect to individuals who have meant a lot for me and what has led to the career I've had."

<p>Perry Knotts via AP</p> Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce (62) walks off the field after an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, in Tampa, Fla. The Buccaneers won 32-9.

Perry Knotts via AP

Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce (62) walks off the field after an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, in Tampa, Fla. The Buccaneers won 32-9.

Elsewhere in the podcast, Jason said there was "a lot of emotion" and he doesn't know "what the future holds for anybody in the building right now."

"And we’ll be all at the edge of our f----- seat seeing what decision you make big guy," Travis chimed in.

In his final game with the Eagles, Kelce appeared visibly distraught as he left the field after Philadelphia's frustrating 32-9 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a wildcard game.

During the final play, Kelce hugged his longtime offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland. Then, the father-of-three choked back tears and searched for his family, including his wife, Kylie Kelce, and father, Ed Kelce, in the stands.

Kelce appeared visibly distraught as he left the field after Philadelphia's frustrating 32-9 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a wildcard game. The father-of-three choked back tears and searched for his family, including his wife, Kylie Kelce, and father, Ed Kelce, in the stands.

On Tuesday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Kelce was planning to retire and had informed his teammates of the decision in the locker room after Monday's loss.

Related: Jason Kelce Talks Possibility He Plays Final NFL Game Tonight: ‘You Never Know When That’s Going to Be’

Kelce did not speak with members of the media following his final game, telling them: “No guys, not today.”

Kelce, the older brother of Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, has played his entire career with the Eagles since the team drafted him in 2011.

<p>Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty</p> Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce (62) and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) hug after an NFL football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs on Nov 20, 2023 at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO

The question of whether this would be Kelce’s final season in the NFL has followed the star center all year after he openly — and emotionally — discussed the prospect of stepping away from the game during the offseason.

The seven-time Pro Bowler and former Super Bowl champion broke down in tears while discussing football’s impact on his body and his family life during a wrenching scene in his Kelce documentary on Prime Video.

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“It’s getting harder and harder to play," Jason said in one poignant scene from the documentary released last September. "There have been little things that are not big things yet but are going to turn into big things the longer I play."

"Every logical thing is telling me I should stop playing football,” Jason says at one point in the film. “I’ve got to tear my body apart.”

Kylie, 31, said in Kelce that she hopes her husband will retire before he loses the ability to "play with" their daughters, Elliotte, 2, and Wyatt, 3, and Bennett Llewellyn Kelce, who was born just after Super Bowl LVII in 2023.

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