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Who Is Jason Kelce & What Will He Do Next?

by Scott Kacsmar
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Jason Kelce

Jason Kelce could not be any different from your typical NFL player who just retired from the game.

While his playing days may be over, at 36 years old, Kelce is somehow still at the height of his popularity. The center just wrapped up a brilliant 13-year career with another All-Pro selection. He is the co-host of an award-winning podcast, New Heights, along with his brother Travis Kelce, who is dating the most famous person on the planet right now.

Walking away from the game that’s been your love and purpose in life as an adult has to be incredibly hard. Doing it at a time when you and your family (Mother Donna included) are so often in the spotlight has to make it even harder.

But Kelce is not just going to disappear from football and fade into obscurity. The brand is too strong right now to do that. Thanks to his brother’s popularity and success helping to elevate that brand, Jason has still pulled off an incredible task of reaching this level of stardom as an offensive lineman, which usually never happens.

Maybe he’ll be the next Mayor of Philadelphia, a job he would likely win with ease right now. In fact BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review to learn more) has some props on what this Kelce brother will do next. We are going to look at those options as well as a career retrospective on his path to becoming one of the most beloved figures in NFL history.

Not Always a Lineman

Jason Kelce College

When Jason Kelce entered the NFL in 2011, he certainly looked the part of a center with flowing locks and a belly as he weighed in at nearly 300 pounds. But when he played high school football in Cleveland Heights in Ohio, he was a running back and linebacker.

Kelce attended Cincinnati for college where he was a walk-on running back before transitioning to fullback and having a redshirt season as a freshman. In 2007, he was moved to offensive line where he played some center and guard.

In 2008, his brother Travis joined him on the Bearcats football team, and Jason was moved to starting left guard. It wasn’t until his senior season in 2010 that he was the team’s starting center.

Meeting Andy Reid and the Eagles

In 2011, Kelce did a great job at the NFL scouting combine to make up for his smaller size by showing off great athleticism. That was enough to project him for the middle rounds, but he had to wait until the 6th round and pick 191 before a team finally drafted him.

But life has a funny way of working out like this. If Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles had never drafted Jason in 2011, we may have never known the Kelce brothers as well as we do today.

Reid has often been great at getting offensive line talent to work in his system, and he was comfortable enough with Jason to be a Week 1 rookie starter at center in 2011 for the Eagles.

Jason was injured 2 games into his 2012 season, and Reid was let go by the Eagles after that disappointing year. He landed in Kansas City for 2013, and the Chiefs selected tight end Travis Kelce in the 3rd round that year. If Reid did not get to know the Kelce family by having Jason on his team, that pick may have never been on the Chiefs’ radar, and they may have missed out on someone who is arguably the greatest tight end in NFL history.

Jason Wins a Super Bowl

Jason’s athleticism was ideal for running new coach Chip Kelly’s hyper-speed offense. Kelce made his first Pro Bowl in 2014, but he didn’t get recognized as an All-Pro center until 2017 under coach Doug Pederson.

2017 proved to be a special year all around for Kelce and the Eagles. Despite losing starting quarterback Carson Wentz to a torn ACL in December, the Eagles surged on as the No. 1 seed with Nick Foles taking over with Kelce as his center. The Eagles were underdogs in the playoffs, but they kept winning, and they beat the Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl 52, one of the best games ever, to secure the first Super Bowl win in franchise history.

The Super Bowl parade in Philadelphia was a memorable one thanks in large part to Kelce’s passionate speech and an outfit for the ages:

That would be the 1st championship ring in the Kelce household, and the spectacle led to Jason appearing as himself in a 2-part episode about the Super Bowl on the comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Another Super Bowl ring was guaranteed for the Kelce family 5 seasons later when the brothers made history in Super Bowl 57.

The Kelce Family Takeover

In the 2022 NFL season, Jason’s Eagles and Travis’ Chiefs were the talk of the league with both teams finishing 14-3 to earn the No. 1 seed in their conferences. They met in Super Bowl 57, the 1st time brothers faced off in a Super Bowl.

Jason’s Eagles led early, but the Chiefs rallied back for a 38-35 win, giving Travis the upper hand in rings. Still, the year was a huge success for the Kelce family with their mother getting plenty of attention in the crowd at her son’s games. Jason even had a cameo on Saturday Night Live the episode his brother hosted after the big game.

Jason thought it was perhaps his final season, so he had a film crew follow him for it and that footage was released as a 2023 documentary called Kelce, which was well done. It was released to positive reception on Amazon Prime Video.

But Kelce did return to the Eagles for his 2023 season. It looked like we might get a Super Bowl rematch too with the Eagles and Chiefs, but Philadelphia sputtered badly down the stretch, and Kelce’s final game was a wild-card loss in Tampa Bay.

Meanwhile, Travis and the Chiefs went to another Super Bowl, and Jason was there cheering him on after his team’s season ended. He even stole the show from Taylor Swift in the booth during a divisional round game in Buffalo where he took his shirt off to cheer on his brother:

At Super Bowl 58 in Las Vegas, Jason watched his brother win another Super Bowl in an overtime thriller against the 49ers.

A few weeks later on March 4, 2024, in front of his teammates and family, Jason announced his retirement from the Eagles and NFL:

Kelce will have a bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as early as 2029 after a 13-year career that saw him reach 7 Pro Bowls and 6 1st-Team All-Pro selections.

Other Forms of Media

The recent Kelce takeover has extended beyond the football field. Kelce was even part of a group of Eagles who participated singing for a Christmas album, entitled A Philly Special Christmas, in 2022. It received a sequel a year later.

But in addition to his Christmas album and documentary, Kelce started the New Heights podcast with brother Travis in 2022. It is a weekly podcast where the brothers discuss football, each other’s games, other happenings and they have special guests at times.

The podcast is ongoing, and it just won a big award at the 2024 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards, winning the top prize for Podcast of the Year. It was a fan vote, so no doubt the Taylor Swift fans out there helped that happen. But it has been a well-received podcast.

Next Profession?

At BetOnline, a top-rated offshore sportsbook, there are betting markets for what Jason Kelce will do next. One of those is his next profession, and they list a variety of options for that:

  • Firefighter (+400)
  • Public Speaker (+400)
  • School Teacher (+800)
  • Military (+1600)
  • Politician (+1600)
  • Chef (+2000)
  • Artist (+2500)
  • Realtor (+3300)
  • Pilot (+5000)
  • Policeman (+6600)
  • Pastor/Priest (+10000)
  • Bartender (+10000)
  • Lawyer (+15000)
  • Doctor (+25000)
  • Stock Brocker (+25000)

The kicker here is the fine print says the winning market must be announced by March 31, 2024, which doesn’t exactly give Kelce much time to decide to be a doctor or lawyer. Not to say he can’t pull it off, but that usually involves years of schooling. Kelce majored in marketing at Cincinnati.

Surprisingly, football player is not on the list as you never know when a player comes out of retirement, and Kelce already admitted he’s feeling it after the Eagles signed running back Saquon Barkley in free agency this week. Even Tom Brady only lasted 40 days in his initial retirement in 2022.

But Kelce probably won’t want to annoy his wife Kylie with a half-assed retirement. The couple has 3 young daughters, so being more present to see them grow up is likely on his mind as well now that he should have more free time.

Assuming football player is over for Kelce, these choices feel largely weird for a guy who has an easy transition into sportscaster, either calling games live or joining a pre-game show for a network.

Would that count as public speaker? If so, that’s the pick to make here. But politician is also juicy at +1600 as I bet he could win Mayor of Philadelphia if he wanted to go that route. That’s how beloved he is in the City of Brotherly Love.

Which Network Will Sign Jason Kelce?

Maybe a giveaway on Kelce’s future is that the other betting market with odds at BetOnline is which network/service will give Kelce his post-playing career job? Here is the list in full:

  • Amazon Prime (+250)
  • FOX (+300)
  • YouTube (+500)
  • CBS (+600)
  • ABC (+600)
  • NBC (+600)
  • Disney+ (+800)
  • ESPN (+800)
  • DirecTV (+800)
  • FuboTV (+1000)
  • Hulu (+1000)
  • Paramount+ (+1200)
  • Peacock Premium (+1200)
  • Sling TV (+1400)

Isn’t FOX supposed to be paying Tom Brady a fortune to replace Greg Olsen as their top analyst despite the fact people truly enjoy Olsen in the booth, and Brady has no experience in this avenue? Not sure FOX needs to be taking on another new talent so soon in Kelce.

Streamers want to get in on the NFL game, but the one that has put their money where their mouth is has been Amazon Prime with the Thursday Night Football package since 2022. In fact, Kelce even appeared in the booth for a quarter last year to chat with the guys, Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit, during a Bears-Panthers game. He sounded like a natural fit too.

Throw in the fact that Kelce’s documentary was streamed by Amazon Prime, and this feels like a good fit as he could inject some life into a booth that has Al Michaels eyeing retirement more than anything else. Herbstreit always sounds less interested in NFL games than he does calling college games too, so going a new direction with Kelce and an experienced play-by-play announcer could be a smart move here.

No matter what happens, we should still see plenty of this Kelce brother in the coming years. His brother may soon join him in retirement, but just as we still see the Manning brothers on TV a lot during football season, the Kelce family has established their own place in this media landscape.

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Scott Kacsmar
NFL football picks are Scott Kacsmar's expertise, serving as his main focus. He has contributed to various sports websites and blogs, such as NBC Sports, ESPN Insider, FiveThirtyEight, and, JoeWager. Originating from Pittsburgh, Scott maintains a love-hate connection with the Pirates.

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