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Emotional Scene: Jason Kelce Sobs with Brother Travis as Eagles Great All But Announces Retirement

Jason Kelce was overcome with emotion as he appeared to confirm he is retiring from the NFL following the Eagles’ defeat by the Buccaneers.

Reports emerged on Tuesday that the legendary center was calling time on his career in the wake of Philadelphia’s 32-9 Wild Card defeat.

Kelce broke his silence on the latest episode of his New Heights podcast with his brother Travis, saying: ‘I didn’t announce what I was doing on purpose – despite what’s been leaked to the media.’

‘But I think people can feel body language and stuff…’

The 36-year-old, who was drafted by the Eagles in 2011, continued: ‘I just don’t think you’re in a position, after a game like that, to really make that decision. I just don’t. 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 and continue to draw this thing out, I’m really not. It’s just something that I think – when it’s time to officially announce what’s happening in the future. it’ll be done in a way that’s definitive and pays respect to a lot of people and individuals who mean a lot to me and what has led to the career I’ve had.

Jason Kelce was overcome with emotion as he appeared to confirm he is retiring from the NFL

The Eagles center addressed his teammates following defeat by the Buccaneers on Monday

‘And I don’t think it would be respectful or even accurate to be able to do that right after a game like that. (I’m) frustrated, I guess, at everything that’s happening but in the future there’ll be something said.’

Kelce, a father-of-three, strongly considered retiring at the end of last season and filmed his struggle to make a decision, which later became a hit Amazon Prime documentary.

Eventually he chose to play on and signed a one-year contract with the Eagles for this season, but was due to become a free agent in March.

‘I did address the team and pretty much said the same thing I said to you: “I have belief in every single one of you guys. Cherish the moments you have in this league”,’ he said.

‘So, that’s kind of the way it went down and a lot of guys (said): “If that is your last game, I feel sorry for you.” I was like: “Don’t feel sorry for me motherf*****s, I had a f***ing…’

Kelce broke his silence on the latest episode of his New Heights podcast with brother Travis

Kelce then became overcome with emotion. ‘Either way, I truly appreciated everyone in that room and I’d go to war with them any day of the week. Enjoy the time you’ve got but there was a lot of emotion in the room for sure.

‘So, I don’t know what the future holds for anybody in that building right now. We’re about to get into what happens down the stretch: we have exit interviews tomorrow…’

On Wednesday, to mark the end of the season, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni is due to address the team. Meetings will follow, with players speaking to their position coaches, undergoing an ‘exit physical’ and returning their playbooks.

‘Some guys that know they’re not coming back will clean lockers out. You’ll see people start to pack some things up,’ Kelce explained.

‘I’m not trying to be dramatic and continue to draw this thing out, I’m really not,’ Kelce said

‘And it’ll be another probably emotional day. So we’ll see what unfolds.’

The center, a Super Bowl winner, six-time All-Pro and future Hall-of-Fame inductee, turned and hugged the offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland as the clock ticked towards zero in Tampa.

Jason, the older brother of Kansas City Chiefs star Travis, then had an emotional but brief reunion with his family on the field – his father, Ed, and wife Kylie were cheering him on from the front row of the stands.

He gave them both a wave as he made his way from the field and was filmed tearing up on his long and lonely walk back to the locker room.

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