Jason Kelce ‘turned down $9MILLION deal to stay in Philadelphia’ with the Eagles front office ‘desperate’ to stop him retiring

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The Eagles reportedly offered Jason Kelce $9million in an attempt to bring him back for 2024 – with the center ultimately announcing his retirement on Monday.  Kelce – who spent his entire 13-year career in Philly – will go down as a franchise legend and is a surefire Hall of Famer.

And according to the US Sun, the Eagles were ‘desperate’ to retain the 36-year-old for another season.  The US Sun said the Eagles will retire Kelce’s No. 62 jersey after he decided to hang his cleats up. He was paid $14.25million last season by Philly – the most of any center in the league.

jason cry2Jason Kelce delivered an emotional retirement speech on Monday at the Eagles’ facility

kylie k familyJason is seen with his wife, Kylie, and his three young daughters at Lincoln Financial Field

And while the Eagles apparently tried hard to keep Kelce, this was the end of the road for him and the franchise.  ‘He knows that he wasn’t getting younger, and seeing his brother winning another Super Bowl had him rethink maybe going back to play another season, but he took the best decision as he feels that he needed to stop his career,’ a source told the US Sun.

‘He loves Philly, the franchise, but he also wants to spend more time with his family and start another career in his life, which he knows is going to be very exciting.’  The Ohio native – who hosts the popular ‘New Heights’ podcast with his brother, Travis – could now pursue a broadcasting career.  He met with execs from ESPN and Fox during Super Bowl week, according to Front Office Sports.

Either way, his next chapter was seemingly far from his mind on Monday as he announced his retirement in front of his wife, Kylie, parents Donna and Ed, and brother, Travis.  Philly’s executive vice president Howie Roseman – who would have played a pivotal role in the team’s reported last-ditch contract offer to Kelce – was also in attendance.  Kelce needed 45 minutes to recount his career as he fought through tears at the Eagles’ facility before finally confirming his retirement.

He thanked a long list of mentors from his high school football, hockey and lacrosse coaches and his old band teachers at Cleveland Heights (Ohio) high school for putting up with a ‘rambunctious kid that was full of immaturity, stupidly and cockiness.’  He also thanked his coaches at Cincinnati for believing he could play center, a fortuitous decision that made him a great fit in Philadelphia, then thanked his four coaches with the Eagles.

Kelce choked up again thanking Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie for his leadership and general manager Howie Roseman for drafting him.  He shared memories of his Eagles career and said he would never forget the day former Eagles coach Reid called to tell him Kelce had been drafted by the Eagles.  Kelce went on to play 193 regular-season games for the Eagles.  ‘It has always been a goal of mine to play my whole career in one city,’ Kelce said. ‘I couldn’t have dreamt a better one if I tried.’

Talking about his relationship with his younger brother, Kelce said: ‘This is where it’s gonna go off the rails.  ‘I won’t forget falling short to the Chiefs and the conflicting feeling of the heartbreak I had selfishly for myself and my teammates and, at the same time, the amount of pride I had in my brother. He climbed the mountain top once again.  ‘We have a small family. No cousins. One aunt and one uncle. It was really my brother and I our whole lives. We did almost everything together. Competing, fought, laughed, cried and learned from each other.

‘We invented games, imagined ourselves as the star players of that time. We envisioned making the game winning plays, day after day. We won countless Super Bowls in our minds before ever leaving the house. And when we weren’t playing, we were at the other one’s games.  ‘Butt seated in a long chair or bench, a Capri Sun in our hands that mom had packed, cheering during the game and waiting outside and afterward to celebrate a victory together or offer encouragement after a defeat.

‘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.’ He also paid a moving tribute to wife Kylie and said it’s ‘no coincidence I have enjoyed the best years of my career with Kylie by my side.’  ‘I think it’s no coincidence I have enjoyed the best years of my career with Kylie by my side,’ he said. ‘Every accolade I have ever received in my life has come with her in my life.

‘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. She has also given me three beautiful girls in a life that increasingly brings me more fulfilment off the field than it does on. We’ve had a great run, Ky.’  Kelce’s retirement announcement drew tributes from all across the NFL world, with the likes of JJ Watt, Tyreek Hill and Russell Wilson offering their congratulations.  ‘Just go ahead and get the Gold Jacket fitted right now,’ Watt said on X. ‘Congrats on one hell of a career @JasonKelce. A pleasure and an honor to share the field with you.’


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