"Never in a million years did I ever think I'd play offensive line," an emotional Jason Kelce said on Monday.

After 13 seasons and a franchise record 156 consecutive stars, Kelce announced that he would be retiring from the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles as the best center in franchise history.

Overall he played in 193 career games, which is second all-time in Eagles franchise history, the last time the Eagles played a game without Kelce in the lineup was in 2014.

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The seven-time Pro Bowler and six-time All-Pro thanked his high school, college, NFL coaches.  He also thanked owner Jeffery Lurie, Howie Roseman, and 'Big Dom' DiSandro . He went on to thank many of the Eagles staffers.

"I won't forget the call I got from Andy Reid on draft day," Kelce said.

He talked about his first practice with Andy Reid, the passing of Reid's son at training camp, his first game with Chip Kelly, the snow game against the Detroit Lions, when he found out Carson Wentz tore his ACL, Nick Foles performance in the Super Bowl, Foles asking Doug Pederson to run the Philly Special, Brandon Graham's strip sack and how long the moment felt, the Super Bowl parade and what it meant to Philadelphia, Nick Sirianni sending him kegs of beer to try and convince his to stay.

Getty Images
Getty Images

"Everything happens for a reason and I truly enjoyed my time with you coach. Sometimes the flowers get pushed back a bit, but the roots remain and I can't wait to see them blossom back this season," Kelce said.

He talked about the Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs, in which his brother Travis was able to capture a Super Bowl.

"The amount of pride....I had for my brother.  He climbed the mountain top once again," Kelce said.

He thanked Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, for making him the player he has become.  He talked about his 2016 season, in which he thought there was a chance he would be traded or released.

"Stoutland was the one man who believed in me," Kelce said.

"I consider it a blessing to play in the most passionate sports town in America.” Kelce said.

"Thank you Philadelphia from the bottom of my heart, you have all been so good to me and my family.  It has always been a goal of mine to play in one city, I couldn't have found a better one if I tried."

Kelce ended the press conference by saying "that's all I got,", stood up and walked off to shake hands with friends, family and media members.

With Kelce gone, the Eagles will likely turn to 2022 second-round pick Cam Jurgens, who spent the 2023 season as the teams starting right guard. Jurgens was hand-picked by Kelce, and like Kelce, is an undersized but athletic lineman.

Jason Kelce Through the Years