Kelce has seriously considered retirement for a few years running now, and Philadelphia actually drafted a potential replacement last year in the second round, selecting Cameron Jurgens.
But Kelce continues to play at a high level and if he wants to play, the Eagles would likely welcome him back. Schefter notes he has to decide if he wants to sign up for the grind that a full NFL season entails.
Kelce is finishing out a one-year deal that paid him $14 million as the NFL’s highest-paid center, so he would need another contract if he returned to play.
He noted the result of the Super Bowl won’t influence his decision one way or the other.
“From everything I’ve been told about when you know it’s time to retire or not, you just know when you know, and it’s going to be when you don’t want to play football anymore,” Kelce said. “And I don’t think that winning this game is going to determine whether I want to continue playing football or not.”
Kelce, 35, is a former sixth-round pick of the Eagles back in 2011. He was entering the sixth year of his seven-year, $40.11 million contract when he agreed to an extension with the Eagles in 2019 that paid him an annual salary of $11 million.
He then signed a one-year deal with the Eagles worth up to $12 million in March of 2021. He signed another one-year, $14 million deal for 2022.
In 2022, Kelce appeared in and started all 17 games for the Eagles at center. Pro Football Focus rated him as the No. 2 center out of 38 qualifying players.