Jason Kelce Tells Philadelphia Eagles Teammates He Is Retiring after Shocking Loss to Tampa Bay that Left Him in Tears on the Sidelines

Kelce, the older brother of Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce, decided against retiring at the end of last season.

Jason Kelce is retiring from the NFL after playing for 13 seasons. Kelce reportedly informed his Philadelphia Eagles teammates that he plans to retire from football after the unexpected loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As per NFL insider Adam Schefter, the 36-year-old reportedly shared this decision with his teammates in the locker room at Raymond James Stadium.

Kelce, a father of three, seriously contemplated retirement at the end of last season. His struggle was captured in a popular Amazon Prime documentary, showcasing the challenges he faced in making this major decision. He ultimately decided to continue playing and signed a one-year contract with the Eagles for the current season.

End of a Remarkable Career

Jason Kelce
Jason Kelce X

In the aftermath of Philadelphia's 32-9 loss at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Kelce, who is widely expected to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, was visibly distraught on the sidelines. ESPN cameras captured Kelce during the final moments of the game, showing him shedding tears.

Troy Aikman, who was doing the commentary alongside Joe Buck in the booth, remarked, "That looks like a man filled with emotion right now," as they observed Kelce's apparent emotional state during the game.

Jason Kelce
Jason Kelce X

Kelce, who was slated to become a free agent in March, then had an exchange and embraced his longtime offensive line coach, Jeff Stoutland.

As he left the field, Kelce greeted his wife, Kylie McDevitt Kelce, who was standing in the front row with his father, Ed Kelce. Another video captured him looking somber as he walked to the locker room in the back hallways of the stadium.

Kelce, the older brother of Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce, decided against retiring at the end of last season. However, this time, it seems he's walking away from the game for good.

Teammates and Fans Emotional

According to ESPN, veteran Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson shared with reporters that Kelce has "hinted" to teammates that this season would likely be his final one. "I love him. He's one of the best to ever play the game," Johnson said. "The things he can do on the football field athletically — I don't think we'll see another one like him for a long time."

Jason Kelce
Jason Kelce seen crying after Eagles' shock loss to Tampa Bay X

Last March, Kelce announced his decision to "return for another year after talking it over with my wife and many other friends and family."

"I have put much thought into whether it makes sense to play another season... Thank you to all my supporters and detractors for fueling me, I ain't f–king done yet!" Kelce wrote on X (formerly Twitter) at that time.

Kelce, drafted by the Eagles in 2011 after playing college football for the Cincinnati Bearcats, has dedicated his entire career to Philadelphia.

Jason Kelce
Jason Kelce seen crying on the sidelines after his team's defeat to Tampa Bay X

Kelce and Kylie welcomed a baby girl, Bennett Llewellyn Kelce, in February, expanding their family to five members. Bennett joined her big sisters, 2-and-a-half-year-old Elliotte Ray and 4-year-old Wyatt.

In his Prime Video documentary, "Kelce," released in September 2023, the proud "girl dad" candidly discussed the toll football has taken on his body and his contemplation of retirement.

Kelce boasts an impressive career with six All-Pro selections and seven Pro Bowl appearances. He played a crucial role in helping the Eagles reach the Super Bowl last February, where he faced his brother, Travis, and the Kansas City Chiefs, experiencing a 38-35 loss in Phoenix.

Jason Kelce
Jason Kelce X

Kelce won the Super Bowl LII with the Eagles in 2018.