The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

COMMENTARY: Philly legend Jason Kelce’s legacy as he ponders retirement

Is Kelce the greatest center ever?
Jason Kelce has led a terrific NFL career and it may not be over yet.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Jan. 16 that seven-time Pro Bowl center Jason Kelce announced his retirement from the Philadelphia Eagles following the away wild-card playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jan. 14.

Kelce clarified Schefter’s report on the “New Heights” podcast, which Jason hosts along with his brother, Kansas City Chiefs tight end, Travis Kelce.

Jason said he wouldn’t address the comments made to the team on the podcast but that he would make an official announcement, “When it’s time.”

“I think there was a lot of emotion in the room. I don’t know what the future holds for anybody in that building right now,” Jason said.

Jason shared a unique moment with his brother when addressing the topic. 

 “Cherish the moments you have in this league. I think it’s kind of the way it went down. A lot of guys are like, ‘If that is your last game, I feel sorry for you.’ Don’t feel sorry for me, motherf**kers,” Jason said as he looked away with tears in his eyes. 

“Hell yeah, brother. Hell yeah, man,” Travis Kelce said after noticing his brother’s emotion.

While Jason is yet to make an official announcement regarding his football future, there’s no doubt that whatever the former Cincinnati Bearcat chooses, he will go down in history as one of the greatest centers in history. 

Recency bias or not, Jason deserves to be in the conversation for the greatest center in NFL history as his longevity and production are unmatched. 

The 36-year-old has played 13 seasons in the NFL so far (all with Philadelphia), making two Super Bowls (LII, LVII), and winning one (LII).

Jason set the Eagles franchise record for the most consecutive regular-season starts with 156. This is the second-longest active streak in the NFL, only trailing fellow lineman Jake Matthews who has 162 consecutive starts. 

He is also a five-time all-pro, making him one of three centers since the 1970 merger to be named to the all-pro team five times in a career.  

This puts him in prestigious company with NFL greats Mike Webster and Dermontti Dawson, who have five and six selections respectively. 

Jason has played in a variety of schemes during his tenure in the league as well, displaying the innate ability to produce as a lineman as some linemen regress due to scheme changes. 

From the fast-paced, pull-oriented scheme that Chip Kelly ran, to the modern approach of Nick Sirriani, he has objectively excelled no matter the scheme.

All the more impressive, Jason is listed at 6 feet 3 inches and 295 pounds. 

The average weight of an NFL center is 308 pounds and Jason has been listed well below that mark all his career. 

Not only does Jason have the resume listed above, but he was often the smallest center in the league. 

He may not be universally regarded by the media as the greatest center ever, but it would be asinine to exclude him from the conversation. 

I truly believe that Jason’s career deserves more respect and I consider him the best center of the modern era, arguably the greatest center of all time.

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About the Contributors
Zach is a junior multimedia journalism major from Clarkston, Washington. He likes football and grew up going to Cougar football games.
KYRIE ROLLINS, Evergreen illustrator
Kyrie Rollins is a graphic illustrator for the Daily Evergreen. They are in their third year at Washington State University double majoring in Digital Technology & Culture and Fine Arts. They’re born and raised in Pullman and are ready to represent this town!