Jason Kelce Tearfully Announces His Retirement From NFL After 13 Seasons

NFL star Jason Kelce, who was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011, broke down in tears as he announced his retirement from the league after 13 seasons and one memorable Super Bowl win.

By Jess Cohen Mar 04, 2024 6:40 PMTags
Watch: Travis Kelce Cries as His Brother Jason Kelce Announces NFL Retirement

Jason Kelce is officially hanging up his football helmet.

After 13 seasons in the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles center has announced that he's retiring.

"I look back on a career filled with ups and downs," he said during a tearful press conference March 4, before reflecting on the 2011 NFL Draft. "I won't forget the call I got from Andy Reid and my father rushing into the room, as tears rushing down his eyes that his son had been achieving his dream."

Two years later, Jason recalled, his brother Travis Kelce would get a similar call from Reid—who'd moved to the Kansas City Chiefs—achieving his own football dream.

Jason—who credited his bond with Travis for making him stronger and teaching him loyalty—went on to thank his teammates for the memories, both on and off the field.

This retirement announcement comes nearly two months after the Eagles lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Jan. 15's Wild Card round game.

"[Jason's] special and I love him," coach Nick Sirianni told reporters after his team's defeat. "He's one of the most special guys I've been around. He's always got a place here."

At the start of 2024, Jason admitted that he'd yet to make a decision about his future in the NFL.

"I think you have to look after everything is said and done," he said on the WIP Morning Show Jan. 3, "and really grasp where you're at."

Taylor Swift Tackles the Cold to Cheer on Travis Kelce

"You just go through the season," Jason added. "You think about that afterwards. That's the healthiest way to do it."

The 36-year-old was a member of the Eagles for his entire professional football career, having been selected by the team in the sixth round of 2011 NFL Draft. And throughout his time in the league, the Ohio native became a seven-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion, helping his team secure the Vince Lombardi Trophy in 2018.

(Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

Now, as Jason closes the chapter on his NFL career, he's also beginning a new one with his family, including wife Kylie Kelce and daughters Wyatt, 4, Elliotte, 2, and Bennett, 12 months.

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

"I always tell people that no matter what happens with football, how it ends," Kylie said in Jason's 2023 Kelce documentary, "I would like him to retire when he's still able to get down on the floor and play with our kids comfortably."

As Jason's post-NFL journey kicks off, take a look back at his love story with Kylie...


Jason Kelce doesn't want you to know he met his wife Kylie Kelce on a dating app. Too bad she wasn't afraid to reveal how their relationship began in the Prime Video Kelce documentary. 

"Jason won't let me lie about this," Kylie shared. "We met on Tinder."

When Kylie first encountered Jason's profile, she didn't recognize the Philadelphia Eagles center, explaining, "None of his pictures showed Eagles football."

However, after she and her friends thought he looked "kind of familiar," they did what millennial women do best: A Google image search. And when Kylie put a name to the face, she was confident she was being played.

"It can't be him," she remembered thinking, "it's a catfish."

Still, she took a chance. And in 2015, she shared the first photo of the couple on Instagram, writing, "Thank goodness you swiped right too."


While Jason and Kylie ultimately hit it off, their first date didn't go according to the game plan. 

"You fell asleep 45 minutes after I got there on the bar table because he was too drunk,"  Kylie revealed on Jason's New Heights podcast, which he co-hosts with his brother Travis Kelce.

Though he was admittedly "inebriated," Jason said, "I was sober enough to know it was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen in my life. It was love at first sight."

Still, Kylie admitted it took her awhile to fully commit to the idea of being in a relationship with a professional athlete.

"I didn’t tell anyone who I was dating," she explained. "The last thing I wanted was to be like, 'I think I’m falling for this guy and then have him be like, 'Oh, I have six other girls waiting,’ which is the stereotype of a football player."

However, in hindsight, Kylie admitted. "It's entertaining that there was any hesitation at all." 

"Our dynamic made it so not that I was in a relationship with a professional athlete," she continued, "it was very much that I was in a relationship wth Jason whose profession was football."

August 2017

She said yes! But only after putting up with some of Jason's B.S. 

During the Sept. 7 episode of the New Heights podcast, the couple shared their engagement story, which Jason prefaced by admitting he is not a "romantic" person. 

The NFL star proposed to Kylie in his car while they were leaving her parents' house. 

"I couldn’t figure out how to inconspicuously go back into the house," he explained, "because if I was like, 'Hey I gotta go talk to you dad for a second,’ it would have been very odd of me to say that."

Instead, Jason went with, um, option No. 2: "When we got in the car, I said, 'Ky, I’m sorry but I gotta take a s--t.'"

However, Kylie immediately knew Jason was up to something when he returned minutes later. "He came back out and I said, 'Jason, I know you didn’t just go in there and take a s—t, it usually takes you 20 minutes.'"

Jason then cut the bulls--t and got down to business. 

"He said, 'This isn’t the most romantic way to do this,'" Kylie recalled, "and I immediately started crying because I knew what was happening only because he referenced being romantic."

April 2018

Two months after winning his first Super Bowl, Jason added an even more special ring to his collection when he and Kylie tied the knot in Philadelphia. 

To celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary, Kylie shared some throwback pictures from their wedding day.

 "One year ago today we stood in front of our closest friends and family and vowed our love and commitment to each other," she wrote. "I am so beyond grateful that I get to share my life with this man."

October 2019

The couple welcomed their first daughter, Wyatt Elizabeth Kelce, on Oct. 2. And to celebrate Wyatt's first birthday, Kylie shared several photos from the delivery room on Instagram.

"One year ago this little bug was snuggled up on my chest for her first night out in the world. I will never get tired of your cuddles, Wy," she wrote. "Also, swipe to see what is truly one of my favorite photos in my phone. Mid-push, veins popping out of my head, and the biggest cheesin grin on Jason’s face. Minutes later, we were parents."

March 2021

The Kelces welcomed their second child, daughter Elliotte Rya Kelce, into the world on March 4.

Kylie shared a sweet video of Elliotte to celebrate her six-month birthday, writing, "Full of smiles, laughs, and sweetness."

And, for her first post of 2022, Kylie captioned a photo of Elliotte, "Best thing to come out of 2021."

February 2023

When Jason and Travis faced off against one another at the 2023 Super Bowl, Kylie had a very special guest attending the game with her. 

"Kylie's bringing her OB because she's going to be 38 weeks pregnant at the game," Jason said on the podcast. "That could be a super Kelce Bowl. If she has a baby in the stadium, it's officially scripted!"

Travis joked, "We're in The Matrix, there's no f--king way."

February 2023

While Uncle Trav may have won the Kelce Bowl when the Chiefs defeated the Eagles, Jason received an even sweeter prize two weeks later when he and Kylie welcomed their third daughter.

"Yesterday little lady #3 joined us," the couple shared on Instagram. "Bennett Llewellyn Kelce 8lbs. 5oz. and 21inches long."

Their daughter was named in honor of Jason's grandmother through Bennett's middle name, Llewellyn.

"It's Grandma Mary's maiden name," Jason shared on New Heights. "I wanted to honor Grandma Mary, who is now resting in peace. She had a good run."

August 2023

Kylie and all three daughters visited Jason at the Philadelphia Eagles training camp, with the couple sharing pics in a joint Instagram post. 

"Here for the Rita's and obstacle courses with dad after practice," the caption read.

Jason's dad skills were on full display in the Kelce documentary on Prime Video, in which Kylie shared her honest thoughts on Jason's retirement.

"I always tell people that no matter what happens with football, how it ends," she said, "I would like him to retire when he's still able to get down on the floor and play with our kids comfortably."

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