Count Jason Kelce in for another NFL season, and with his beloved Philadelphia Eagles. The four-time Pro Bowler was at least considering the possibility of hanging up his cleats and retiring this offseason, but his competitive nature made that a very challenging decision. It didn't help to know his looming existing contract was another hurdle the Eagles would have to overcome to eventually climb out of the salary cap red, having already to make headway toward that goal. To that end, Kelce and the club came to terms on something that keeps him on the field while allowing for needed cap relief.
The three-time All-Pro agreed to terms on a restructured contract, he and the team announced on Friday, that will reportedly pay him $9 million fully guaranteed at signing with the potential to max it at $12 million -- per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Retaining Kelce also prevents the Eagles from having another gaping hole to fill in free agency and in the draft, and to say he's excited to still be onboard is an understatement, especially considering what's also occurring outside of football.
"Man, the first week of March 2021 is one for the record books!!!!" he wrote on Instagram. "Got to welcome baby No. 2 -- Elliotte Ray Kelce -- into the world. Got my first dose of the Moderna vaccine at the wonderful Puentes de Salud Medical Clinic, and restructured my contract to ensure I will continue to be the center for the Philadelphia Eagles.
"2021 already off to a better start!! The more people that get their [vaccine], the sooner we get back to normal. Don't let the name fool you -- Elliotte is a girl. Go Eagles! [I] couldn't be more excited!!"
Not long before Kelce and the team renewed their vows for 2021, teammate and fellow offensive lineman Lane Johnson weighed in on what was going through Kelce's mind following a disappointing 2020 that led to a wild start to the offseason for the Eagles.
"I think he's considering [retirement], but Kelce loves football," Johnson said, via John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia. "He loves being around the guys. Being around him this much, I know what he likes and he doesn't like. I think he's contemplating it, but if I had to say so, I think he comes back for another year.
"Not to put any pressure on him -- I'd like him back for another year."
And now he will be.
Kelce has never suited up for another NFL team since getting the call as the Eagles sixth-round pick in 2011, helping to lead them to their first Super Bowl in 2017 and having not missed a regular-season start since 2014, the latter easily making him only one of the most durable players Philadelphia has ever seen. There is more work to be done financially for the Eagles ahead of free agency and beyond, but they feel good about being able to keep one of their legends around and gaining some cap relief in the process.