'Congrats on one hell of a career': Tributes pour in from fellow NFL stars as Jason Kelce announces retirement after 13 seasons

'Congrats on one hell of a career': Tributes pour in from fellow NFL stars as Jason Kelce announces retirement after 13 seasons
Jason Kelce had a 13-year-long career with the Philadelphia Eagles (Eagles Press Conference/YouTube)

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: Jason Kelce, the beloved center of the Philadelphia Eagles, announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday, March 4, after an extraordinary 13-season run. 

In an emotional statement that lasted 40 minutes, surrounded by his family, including his brother Travis Kelce, Jason, who helped the Eagles win its first Super Bowl in 2018, bid farewell to the gridiron. 

As tributes poured in from across the league, celebrating the grit, determination, and unwavering spirit that defined his journey, the sports world paused to honor a true underdog who rose to become a champion, both on and off the field, as per Daily Mail.


Jason Kelce bids farewell to legendary 13-season NFL career reiterating that he has always been an 'underdog'

"I have been the underdog my entire career," declared Jason, adding, "And I mean this when I say it, I still wish I was," while announcing his retirement. 

These words encapsulated the spirit of a player who defied the odds and etched his name into NFL folklore.

"Some people struggle to play in this city - I considered it a blessing to play in the most passionate sports town in America. Thank you, Philadelphia, for letting me represent this city," noted the center, who was drafted into the team in 2011. 

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 21: Jason Kelce #62 of the Philadelphia Eagles walks off the f
Jason Kelce was picked by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011  (Getty Images)

Fellow NFL stars pay tribute to Jason Kelce following his retirement announcement

As news of Jason's retirement spread, a chorus of tributes flooded social media, with NFL stars paying homage to the Eagles legend.

"Just go ahead and get the Gold Jacket fitted right now. Congrats on one hell of a career @JasonKelce. A pleasure and an honor to share the field with you," stated the recently-retired JJ Watt.


Former Cowboys star and Monday Night Football analyst, Troy Aikman, wrote, "Congratulations Jason Kelce on an incredible 13-yr career. Much respect for the way you did it week after week, year after year. It was an honor to watch you play."


Responding to a clip from Jason's emotional retirement press conference, former Patriots receiver Julian Edelman shared his thoughts, stating, "This is what it’s all about man. Gave everything to the game. Time for the next chapter… congrats."


Russell Wilson and Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill, both familiar with Jason's prowess on the field, penned short yet impactful tributes. "Respect Jason," wrote Hill, while Wilson expressed, "Congrats on an unbelievable HOF Career @JasonKelce."



Jason's ex-teammates also joined the chorus of admiration. Michael Vick reminisced, "Emotional from the heart retirement speech from the great @JasonKelce. We didn't play a long time together, he was a great player and even better person. His shotgun snaps were insanely fast and hard. #nastyplayer."


Eagles cornerback Darius Slay proposed a special tribute in Philadelphia, declaring, "March 4 should be a Kelce day in Philly!! The man is a true legend."


Jason Kelce's retirement speech was a poignant journey through his life

In his retirement speech, Jason took everyone on a trip from his childhood in Ohio to the pinnacle of his NFL success. But, it was his bond with his younger brother, Travis, that brought the room to tears.

"There is no chance I'd be here without the bond that Travis and I share. It had made me stronger, tougher, smarter, and taught me the values of cooperation, loyalty, and understanding," declared Jason as Travis wept in the audience.

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He also thanked his wife, Kylie Kelce, saying, "She has brought the best out of me through love, devotion, support, honesty, intelligence, and of course a swift kick in the a** from time to time," drawing laughter and tears.

The NFL star added, "She has also given me three beautiful girls in a life that increasingly brings me more fulfillment off the field than it does on. We've had a great run, Ky."

As Jason's playing days come to a close, speculation swirls about his next move, with reports suggesting he has already met with executives from Fox and ESPN about potential broadcasting opportunities.

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