The Philadelphia Eagles are looking to make the playoffs for a third straight time in 2019. In order to do so, they’ll need a big year from the offensive line to keep Carson Wentz as upright as possible. Fortunately for them, they got a big boost when center Jason Kelce announced he would be returning.
Kelce very publicly flirted retirement, but he decided to come back for one more run at a Super Bowl. Appearing on a recent podcast with Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Kelce explained why he sees his playing days coming to an end sooner rather than later.
On his age: "For me, it’s starting to hurt more and more. That’s evident. But I’m fired up to do at least one more.”
On Dillard: (Jason Peters gets to) “secure another legacy of teaching another player how it’s done and to be the best he can be.” https://t.co/PLn2KP9Ah8 https://t.co/wN6G0H77fT
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 16, 2019
While Kelce saying he’s back for “at least one more” indicates he may well play beyond 2019, he also talked openly about how his body isn’t holding up as well as he used to. Kelce is only 31 and still playing at a very high level, so the Eagles would surely welcome him back in 2020 and beyond.
Kelce also talked about another Eagles offensive lineman, Jason Peters, who is also likely nearing the end of his career. The Eagles drafted offensive tackle Andre Dillard in the first round, likely as an eventual replacement for Peters, who is 37. Kelce said he thinks Peters can mentor Dillard and “secure another legacy of teaching another player how it’s done and to be the best he can be.”
While Kelce sure sounds like he doesn’t plan on playing too much longer, Eagles fans should be grateful he’ll be back in 2019. Kelce is one of the best centers in the league, and it would’ve been a massive downgrade to the offensive line if he had retired.