Jason Kelce Promises That He'll 'Never' Leave Philadelphia as He Talks Retirement Plans

Kelce played all 13 seasons of his NFL career in Philadelphia, where he also met his wife in 2014

<p>Gabriella Ricciardi/MLB Photos via Getty</p> Jason and Travis Kelce

Gabriella Ricciardi/MLB Photos via Getty

Jason and Travis Kelce

Jason Kelce might be leaving the NFL, but he’s not leaving Philadelphia.

The recently retired football player, 36, told his brother Travis Kelce on the latest episode of their podcast, New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce, this week that he plans to remain living in Philadelphia, where he played his entire 13-year NFL career and met his wife Kylie in 2014.

Jason’s remarks about staying in Philadelphia came after Travis, 36, broke down in tears telling his brother he “appreciates” being a role model throughout his life. “I just appreciate you for showing me the way and bringing us all along the journey with you,” Travis told his brother.

“Listen, I’m out of playing but I’m still going to be going to the games,” Jason responded. “Like I said, you’ve been playing for a long time on your own and I look forward to being able to appreciate and watch your games more and take in the bigger picture of football and everything that it has to offer while still remaining local in Philadelphia. I’ll never not be there.”

Jason said that announcing his retirement on Monday has opened up “a different chapter” in his life. “In some ways, I’ll be able to experience more things and do things that I’ve never done before, which is exciting,” Jason said.

The seven-time NFL Pro Bowler has contemplated his retirement in public for years, often citing his family as a reason to step away from the game. Jason and Kylie, who married in April 2018, share three daughters together: Bennett, 11 months, Elliotte, 2½, and Wyatt, 4.

Related: Jason Kelce Tearfully Remembers Moment He Met Wife Kylie in NFL Retirement Speech: 'An Aura Around Her'

<p>Kevin Sabitus/Getty</p> Jason Kelce

Kevin Sabitus/Getty

Jason Kelce

“It’s getting harder and harder to play," Jason told his wife in one poignant scene from his Kelce documentary released last September when the couple was discussing football’s impact on his body and his ability to be present in his kids’ lives.

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Weeks after what would be his final NFL game in January, Jason told The Philadelphia Inquirer that he wants to remain “involved” with the Eagles organization in some way.

"I don’t know what’s going to happen for me, but I do know I still want to be involved in the organization and still want to be a part of it — regardless of what the decision is,” the Eagles center, 36, told The Inquirer. “Because I don’t want to ever feel like I’m on the outside looking in on these achievements and these accolades and these opportunities that largely represent entire cities and fan bases and organizations.”

Related: What Is Jason Kelce Doing After Retirement? What We Know About His Post-NFL Life So Far

<p>Kylie Kelce/Instagram</p> Jason Kelce and family at NFL training camp

Kylie Kelce/Instagram

Jason Kelce and family at NFL training camp

While his future with the organization is unclear, it is clear that Jason and his family remain beloved in Philadelphia.

Donovan McNabb, his former teammate and one of the most famous Eagles players of all time, told TMZ this week that Kelce’s decision to stay in Philadelphia throughout his entire 13-year career made for a “historic” era for the NFL franchise.

"He and his wife have kind of implemented that they are all about Philadelphia, they're all about the Eagles,” McNabb said, adding that Kelce “will go down as one of the best” and most appreciated players in Philadelphia’s history.

"Thank you, Philadelphia," Jason said at the very end of his speech Monday. "From the bottom of my heart, thank you for letting me represent this city and allowing me into your homes every Sunday. Growing up, it has truly been a privilege. You have all been so good to me and my family. Growing up in Cleveland, I watched all of my favorite athletes leave the city. Hell, my whole team left the city. It has always been a goal of mine to play my whole career in one city, and I couldn't have dreamt a better one and a better fit if I try. I don't know what's next, but I look forward to the new challenges and opportunities that await, and I know that I carry with me the lessons from my time here. And that forever we shall all share the bond of being Philadelphians."

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