There are few players in Philadelphia sports as beloved as Jason Kelce. The fanbase is going to love him even more after today. Kelce announced on the Philadelphia Eagles twitter account that he will be returning for his 12th season.
The 34-year-old future Hall of Famer is coming off one of the best seasons of his career with a first-team All-Pro nod and Pro-Bowl selection. Kelce is only the 11th center to earn four All-Pro honors. All of the other 10 are already in the Hall of Fame. He’s the first four-time All-Pro center since Dermontti Dawson of the Steelers. Kelce was also the team’s honoree for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, while anchoring one of the best rushing attacks in football.
The announcement comes after Head Coach Nick Sirianni and OL Coach Jeff Stoutland both made compelling arguments for Kelce being back when he hosted the WIP Morning show. Sirianni had sent a keg of beer to Kelce’s house while Stoutland was looking for other ways to bring the Center back.
Kelce has one final year on his contract while there are additional three other years that can be voided after the 2022 season. He is the ninth longest-tenured Eagle in team history, Kelce can get to as high as fourth on the list behind Harold Carmichael, Brian Dawkins, and David Akers by playing all 17 games. He is currently the second longest-tenured center in Eagles history only behind Chuck Bednarik, but will pass him by playing in 10 games next year.
The Eagles drafted Landon Dickerson last year and his rookie season was a very impressive one. It’s not yet known whether or not Dickerson is the heir to Kelce’s throne, but there is still no clear successor as the team has continued to walk the ‘Jason Kelce durability’ tightrope. The return of the beloved center gives Philadelphia an extra year to find that dream insurance policy if they don’t believe they have already, but more importantly, it gives them one more year of Hall of Fame level play from a player who embodies everything it means to be a Philadelphia Eagle.
A clear welcome back to a franchise favorite!
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire