Jason Kelce is a legend in Philadelphia, where he's as famous for his Super Bowl parade speech as a 10-year career anchoring the Eagles' offensive line. But his contract, reworked this March to ensure his return for 2021, likely points to this season being his last not only in the City of Brotherly Love but in the NFL. According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Kelce and the Eagles agreed to place a "poison pill"-type maneuver in his new deal, all but guaranteeing the longtime center will either be released or retire after the season.
Kelce's contract currently runs through the 2022 season, per Over The Cap, paying the four-time Pro Bowler $5.6 million in 2021 and $5.9 million in 2022. But Fowler reported Tuesday that both sides agreed this offseason that if Kelce isn't cut or retired by June 2, 2022, the Eagles will be required to pay Kelce something like $30 million. In other words, as Fowler put it, "it's just understood that he's probably gonna play one more year there."
That was already the expectation in Philly, where Kelce has openly contemplated retirement for several years. But to have it built into the contract suggests 2021 will, in fact, be the lineman's final go-round, barring another renegotiation. Why? Because in the event Kelce is released, he'll likely also retire in order to finish his career with his original team. The "poison pill" essentially also negates those 2022 financials, making Kelce's current deal more of a one-year pact.
A sixth-round pick of the Eagles back in 2011, Kelce is one of Philly's longest-tenured players entering the new season. A three-time All-Pro, he was the club's only regular up front to start all 16 games in 2020.