On Friday March 5th, the Philadelphia Eagles were able to come to an agreement with the three-time All-Pro Center Jason Kelce, who will be returning for his 11th NFL season with the Birds. After Kelce’s contract expired at the end of the 2020 season, he put the pen to the paper and re-upped on a one-year deal worth $12 million deal with $9 million in guarantees. Earlier in the day, Darius Slay agreed to restructure his contract which resulted in freeing up $9 million in cap space.

“I’ve always said I’m playing until I’m not, and I still have a very strong desire to play the game of football. I still want to do it. I still want to be around the guys. I want to be around the building, around the coaches. I still enjoy that aspect of it, and I’m not ready to stop doing it yet.” Kelce said in a statement released on the team’s website. “I’m excited with a lot of the energy going around right now and, also, I didn’t want to end my career on a season like we had last year. It wouldn’t feel right. I want to leave the Eagles knowing that I left it in good hands.”


We now know that Kelce will return and anchor the Eagles offensive line in 2021. Lane Johnson and Brandon Brooks will also be inserted back into the starting lineup after the two All-Pro linemen missed time due to injury. Philadelphia’s offensive line is expected to be healthy heading into the year however, the front five returns three starters over the age thirty. The Eagles should certainly consider drafting a few developmental offensive lineman over the course of the next two drafts.

Creed Humphrey serves as a potential prospect that can fill the Eagle’s needs. Humprey’s career as a Sooner can be considered solid over a four-year stretch. Similar to Kelce, Humphrey does not possess the ideal size but is athletic in space and smart and sound within his technique. As his first season as a starter, Humphrey helped hold down an offensive line that won the Joe Moore award (an award annually presented to the best offensive line unit in college football). Humphrey capped off his collegiate career earning first-team All-Big 12 honors.

Kelce understands the transitional period that Philly is going through, but still elected to remain a member of the Eagles. This move likely means that Kelce will retire a Philadelphia Eagle. It would be an ideal situation for any young center coming into the league to learn from Kelce, who is still top five at the position despite his age and also came off a Pro Bowl berth last year. 

“This isn’t basketball. One draft pick isn’t going to make us a Super Bowl champion. It might be a big start to a Super Bowl championship, but it’s always going to be about the team. That’s the greatest thing about this sport.” said Kelce “And culture – and the way guys fight and the way guys prepare and the way guys go about their business – is a huge reason for success in this league and in this sport. So nothing takes precedence over trying to win a football game.” 

DAVID MAIALETTI/Philadelphia Inquirer

Featured Image: Elsa/Getty Images
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