Early Saturday morning, a report came out that Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce was contemplating retirement at the end of the season. Per SportsRadio 94 WIP’s Eliot Shorr-Parks (and many others), the report Kelce is retiring is “inaccurate.”
Kelce, 31, has two more years remaining on his contract. He will be owed $6.5 million in 2019 and $7 million in 2020. The Eagles can release Kelce without any cap penalty.
Kelce is coming off one of his best seasons in the NFL, earning a second consecutive All-Pro selection. Graded as the No. 1 center in football, Kelce earned his second consecutive All-Pro selection. Kelce finished No. 2 amongst centers in pass protection and the top ranked run blocker in the league. Kelce graded as the No. 1 center in football by PFF and has allowed just 10 pressures on the season.
In 1,037 snaps, Kelce finished with a grade of 87.7, allowing just two hits and eight hurries. He had just six penalties on the season.
Kelce had his best season in pass protection in his eight-year career. The 10 pressures he allowed were the lowest in a 16-game season, 12 fewer than the 22 he allowed in 2017 when he was PFF’s highest-graded center ever (PFF started calculating grades in 2006).
Kelce earned an All-Pro selection in 2017 after a dominant season, establishing himself as one of the best centers in the game. Kelce was the highest-graded run blocker in the history of Pro Football Focus, along with only giving up two sacks on the season (in 1,208 snaps).
The Eagles center finished with a run-blocking grade of 95.1, beating Nick Mangold’s 2008 record of 95.0. While Kelce did allow 22 pressures in 19 games, he still led all centers with a PFF grade of 91.3.
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Since being selected as a sixth-round pick in 2011, Kelce has earned three All-Pro selections in eight years. He has emerged as a fan favorite in Philadelphia, including being one of the leaders in an Eagles locker room filled with winning veterans.
Kelce has never been afraid to speak his mind. Just look at these quotes when the Eagles started 4-5.
“This isn’t just players, this is coaches, this is everybody,” Kelce said (via ESPN). “Everybody takes accountability in making sure that everybody is ready to go. From a players’ standpoint, it’s on you to make sure that you’re watching the film, you’re doing everything during the week necessary for you to improve, to make sure that you understand the finer coaching points, every little detail, so that when you’re in the middle of the game, you’re not playing slow or apprehensive, you know exactly what you have to do and you can go 100 percent and give great effort. And it’s also on the coaches to make sure everybody’s ready to go.
“[Last year] there was a much greater level of accountability from a cohesive standpoint of everybody working together, and part of that is just on the makeup of the team and guys having done this for a long time and knowing the ins and outs of the game.”
The Eagles appear to have Kelce back for 2019…and the foreseeable future.