What’s next for Jason Kelce? Eagles center hints at coaching among next steps after retirement

For the past 13 years, Jason Kelce’s work days have been spent on the gridiron. He’s now going to need something else to fill his time.

The Eagles center announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday, calling it quits after a sure-fire Hall-of-Fame career. 

Kelce has certainly made plenty of money in his career, meaning a day job isn’t necessarily in his future. He has collected more than $80 million from his time with the Eagles, according to Spotrac, which is more than enough for him to retire comfortably.

However, while he is certainly going to enjoy spending extra time with his family, he also made it clear on the “New Heights” podcast that he isn’t sure entirely what’s next.

MORE: Travis Kelce gets emotional breaking down Jason Kelce’s retirement

What’s next for Jason Kelce?

Kelce was a technician at center, among the greatest offensive linemen in league history and someone who did so while making the transition from linebacker at the start of his college career to center midway through his days in Cincinnati. 

That all suggests Kelce could be someone who could make a transition from playing to coaching, a move he didn’t entirely rule out, though he said on the podcast his next steps are just to figure out what the plan will be for 2024.

“I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do during the season,” Kelce said. “Obviously, I’m not going to be a full-time coach, but is there a level that I can help out the team still or help out young guys, figure out if there’s a role there.”

Coaching won’t be Kelce’s only option. He could opt to become a TV analyst, with networks like CBS, NBC, and ESPN all considering him to be a strong option. NBC, based in Stamford, Conn., could be a one- or two-day work week for Kelce and a doable commute from his home in Philadelphia. Kelce has reportedly already engaged in talks with CBS, according to The Athletic. The Kelce brothers’ podcast could also lend itself well to partnerships with the major networks should he join as an analyst.

MORE: Jason Kelce shows love to family in retirement press conference

While there is uncertainty in his professional life, Kelce appears to have several ideas lined up for what’s next in his personal life. He is hoping to become better with day-to-day tasks around the house and enjoy other unique experiences.

“I look forward to doing something that’s not football. I’ve been so committed to the sport for so long. It’s embarrassing when your wife knows how to do more housework, like I can’t — her dad’s an electrician. She can fish wires, Kylie can fish wires,” Kelce said. “I like the show ‘Forged in Fire,’ I want to go to a blacksmith and make a freaking knife. That’d be fun.”

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Taking a step away from playing in the NFL will also allow Kelce to become a fan of teams. He said he is always going to be an Eagles’ fan first and foremost, but explained with his Cleveland roots, he will also be rooting for the Browns. Until his brother Travis Kelce retires, he explained his order of fandom will be Eagles, Chiefs, and Browns. When the Kansas City tight end calls it a career, it’ll be Eagles, Browns, and Chiefs.

He added the Bills are now his fourth-favorite team.

“Listen, we are still Cleveland sports fans. I still cheered the Browns on, and I did it my entire career. I’m always rooting for the Browns,” Kelce said. “There’s a slight conflict when like the Eagles play the Browns every four years, maybe if they ever go to a Super Bowl together but that’d be the only times. It’s not like there’s some insane rivalry with the Cleveland Browns, Chiefs, and Eagles. So, I can be a fan of all three teams.”

Since Kelce no longer has to be bulked up to play along an offensive line, he also explained he is looking forward to cutting weight. He said he won’t be running marathons or drastically cutting his weight down like former Steelers’ lineman Alan Faneca or be on any extreme diets like vegan, carnivore, or keto.

“I’m going to slim down. My goal is 250. This last week I got down to like 285 because I knew I was doing this. And then I had cake like three days in a row,” Kelce said. “I downloaded, like, My Fitness Pal and just started tracking calories. I feel like as long as I maintain my protein intake so I keep my muscle and just kind of limit the calories, I’ll start to lose weight. So, that’s the plan.”

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Why did Jason Kelce retire?

There are often different factors that can contribute to a player’s decision to call it a career. Kelce explained on the podcast he knew he was ready to call it a career because it was a feeling he had in himself, not a feeling described to him by someone else.

In the past, Kelce said he’d reach out to others to ask how they knew when it was time to stop playing, as he gauged where he was at in his own career. This offseason, he said he didn’t need someone else to explain the feeling of knowing when it was time to hang up the cleats.

“The reality was it was more firm than it’s ever been this year that I just don’t think physically I can compete at the level that I want to anymore and really compete the way I want to. My elbow and my knees, it’s just gotten to the point where the deterioration and the recovery from that deterioration, it hasn’t really manifested on game day yet, but I know it’s going to start doing that,” Kelce said. “I’m hard on myself and if I go out there and I’m not the player that I want to be, it’ll crush me. So, I feel very confident in the decision I’ve made. I know that it’s time. I’ve had a really good run.”

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Every time star players retire, there is always a question at a later point as to whether they might make a late-season comeback to give it one last ride. Should the Eagles find themselves heading to the playoffs again, would Kelce make a return to the field later in the season if he thought he could help the team?

Don’t count on that.

“There was the idea of like, hey do I just, like — because I can probably still play a couple games — like, do I just sit around and wait till the playoffs start? Because a lot of guys do that and more power to them, but then you’re like waiting either for an injury — either you’re waiting for someone to get hurt or you’re just gonna, like, they’re gonna pay me to be like a backup guy and I’ll get, like, another Super Bowl,” Kelce said. “For me at that point, I don’t want to, I want to be proactive and just completely go off. So, that was something that I thought about but definitely not doing it. And I look forward to getting skinny.”

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