It’s no secret that Jason Kelce has been flirting with retirement for awhile now. With the Philadelphia Eagles in flux and most likely not competing for a championship soon, it wouldn’t have shocked anyone to see the 33-year-old hanging it up. Especially since the All-Pro center just had his second child, a daughter! However, to the delight of Birds fans everywhere, Kelce himself announced on instagram he’s coming back for 2021.
While Kelce’s size is not typical of a center, his speed and athleticism have been a cornerstone of the Eagles’ line. It has led to some fantastic seasons, including LeSean McCoy’s rushing title in 2013. That season saw Kelce awarded as Pro Football Focus’ top-rated center.
Jason Kelce Contract
Kelce and the Eagles agreed to a one-year deal, worth $9 million fully guaranteed with a chance to escalate to $12 million. This deal lowered his cap hit for this year, pushing money to 2022. This is perfect timing. It lowers the cap hit while the Eagles take the rest of the Wentz contract, then raises it once that dead cap is off the books.
Looking Forward for Jason Kelce
Jason Kelce has been one of the best centers, and linemen more generally, in the league for a long time. More importantly, he’s still got it. The All-Pro voters have declared as much, as they have named him first-team center four years running. Despite the struggles on the offensive line in 2020, Kelce was the lone survivor to start all 16 games. While there were a few botched snaps, Kelce was a steady presence during a disaster of a season.
With his return, along with the hopeful return of fellow linemen Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson, the Eagles should once again have an elite offensive line. This gives them one less position to really worry about. It will also give assumed starter Jalen Hurts great protection so the Eagles can really see what they have in him.