LAS VEGAS — Is retirement around the corner for NFL stars Travis and Jason Kelce?
Anything could happen, of course, but their father weighed in on the topic over the weekend in an exclusive interview with the Los Angeles Times.
Travis Kelce, All-Pro tight end for Kansas City, definitely has interests outside of football. He’s dating Taylor Swift, is in a slew of commercials and showed off his comedy chops last season by hosting “Saturday Night Live.”
Having won his third Super Bowl ring Sunday, the 34-year-old Kelce could finish his career with a win-it-all mic drop, the way quarterbacks John Elway and Peyton Manning did.
His dad dismissed that notion.
“I’ve heard these things about Travis retiring,” Ed Kelce said. “The way he’s said it is Travis will play until his wheels come off. Travis will play until they say, ‘No, you may not,’ or, ‘Nobody wants you.’ I mean, he’s not foolish to try to come back from a catastrophic injury or something, to keep going and risk further physical troubles.”
But the thought of walking away from the game with gas in the tank?
“Never gonna happen,” his dad said. “And you can quote me on that.”
As for Jason Kelce, 36, six-time All-Pro center for Philadelphia, there’s more speculation he might call it a career. His dad said he’s trying to read the tea leaves just like Eagles fans, but he gave some reasons why his son would be inclined to stick around.
“He said something to the team after the [playoff] loss at Tampa,” the elder Kelce said. “It was something to the effect of, ‘Cherish these years that you’re playing, because it will come to an end.’ Now did he say, ‘I’m out of here. I’m retiring’”?
Someone associated with the team interpreted it that way, but it doesn’t sound as if it were definitive.
“Subsequently, Jason said, ‘I’m not really sure I said that, but even if I did it’s not a decision you can make in a moment like that,’” his dad said. “He said, ‘We just got embarrassed. We lost another game we could have won,’ and he has not told me he’s retiring.”
However, Ed Kelce conceded his son has dropped hints about being more available for off-the-field interests next fall, such as tending to the vegetables he grows on his small farm in the Philadelphia area.
“It’s the same story with him as it is with every one of these guys,” Kelce said. “The hardest thing isn’t the money. I mean, for some of them it is, but for guys like him, it’s the locker room, and the guys, and doing what they’ve been doing since they were 12 years old.”
Ed Kelce said he gets a strong indication that Jason doesn’t want his career to end on this type of sour note, with the Eagles starting 10-1 before losing five of six games and being one-and-done in the playoffs. What’s more, he has noticed that his son hasn’t starting shedding weight yet, which Jason plans to do when he steps away from football.
“He doesn’t like the weight if he doesn’t have to carry it,” Ed said.