Jason Kelce Cries Talking About Whether He Should Retire in New Doc: ‘Tearing My Body Apart’

Jason Kelce Cries Talking About Whether He Should Retire in New Doc: ‘Tearing My Body Apart’


Philadelphia Eagles star Jason Kelce broke down in tears while considering retirement this offseason.


The 35-year-old father of three’s emotional turmoil as he considers his playing career is documented in Kelce, a Prime Video documentary following the NFL player as he navigates football and family behind the scenes.

“It’s getting harder and harder to play,” Kelce said in the film. “There have been little things that are not big things yet but are going to turn into big things the longer I play.”

During a particularly reflective scene for the NFL star, Kelce and a group of retired NFL players play poker while discussing their decision to retire.

Kelce was drafted by the Eagles in 2011, making the current NFL season his thirteenth year in the league. In 2012, he tore his MCL and suffered a partial tear to his ACL. In 2018, he played through the season with a Grade 2 MCL sprain and injuries to his foot, elbow and shoulder, according to Crossing Broad’s report at the time.

While reflecting on her husband’s upcoming decision in the documentary, Kylie Kelce said, “I don’t think that people realize the beating you’re taking then impacts the way you interact with your family.”

Kylie, 31, said her husband has been telling her he plans to retire “for years” and thought that the timing would be perfect this offseason with their third daughter being born right after the 2023 Super Bowl.

“I always tell people, no matter what happens with football, how it ends, I would like him to retire when he is still able to get down on the floor and play with our kids comfortably,” Kylie shared in Kelce.

She continued, “I always am very quick to point out they’re compensated heavily but it’s crazy as a 35-year-old man being in like a world of pain.”
The couple, who married in Philadelphia in April 2018, share daughters Wyatt Elizabeth, 3, Elliotte Ray, 2, and Bennett Llewellyn, who was born shortly after her father and uncle, Travis Kelce, played against each other in the 2023 Super Bowl.
In an emotional scene with retired Eagles player Connor Barwin, Kelce addressed “an elephant in the NFL room,” referring to the negative impact football can have on a player’s body.

Kelce said he’s “fearful” of what “the impacts of playing football are going to be long-term” after he retires. “I have two girls, and some people end up getting CTE, some guys live long healthy lives, I have no idea what’s gonna happen,” he told Barwin, who retired from the NFL in 2019.

“The way I’ve rationalized it to myself is, nobody’s guaranteed tomorrow, nobody’s guaranteed years in advance,” Kelce shared. “If I get CTE and can’t interact with my grandkids, I would still say playing 12 years in the NFL, making my family prosperous, and being an influential member of the city of Philadelphia is a good trade-off.”

Later in the documentary, Kylie said their family “will navigate” his decision “no matter what” the father of three decides.

“Every logical thing is telling me I should stop playing football,” Kelce said, adding, “I’ve got to tear my body apart.”

In tears, Kelce said, “I have no doubt I can be a loving father, no doubt I can be successful,” before pondering, “But where am I gonna be the best in the world at what I f—ing do?”

Ultimately, he decided his competitive career wasn’t over yet, and returned for the 2023 NFL season.

Among the reasons he’s not done playing football, Kelce said there’s nothing like “the f—ing jolt you get” playing in the NFL. “Fighting for your worth is really hard, but it keeps you alive. It keeps the juice f—ing going.”