Philadelphia Eagles: The continuing greatness of Jason Kelce

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

As Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce prepares to suit up for yet another Pro Bowl, it’s worth looking at the overall excellence of his career and asking the big question.

A few months back, I presented my list of the Top 10 Philadelphia Athletes of the Decade.

Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce was not on it; he only had an honorable mention, as I lumped him in with Lane Johnson.

Even though it’s too late now to go back, and I stand by the rankings that I worked a long time on compiling, Kelce is really making me look bad.

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The truth is, he’s been making any and all detractors look bad for his entire nine-year NFL career. Pretty good for a sixth round pick who most thought just wasn’t big enough to handle the rigors of pro football.

This weekend marks the third Pro Bowl selection of Jason Kelce’s career. And that’s a nice feather in the cap, despite his own downplaying of it. Most players never sniff that kind of success. But it pales in comparison to his other recent accolade: being named the First Team All-Pro center in each of the last three seasons.

It’s an amazing achievement, and one that’s frankly unheard of. A player who was generally acknowledged to be having a very good (but not star level) career breaks through to establish himself as the best in the league at his position in his seventh year in the league, staying there for several more years in a row.

Kelce has become just the ninth Eagles player to earn three First Team All-Pro selections, and the seventh to accomplish it in three consecutive seasons. Next year, he’ll be looking to become the fifth-ever Eagle to pull it off four years in a row. But first things first, and we have to quantify what Kelce has meant to this organization over his career.

Aside from a knee injury that cut his sophomore season down to just two games in 2012, and then a four-game absence in 2014, Kelce has been a rock. Game in and game out for the past five years especially, Kelce has ostensibly been the one constant for the team, even as others drop like flies around him.

Three of the last five seasons, he has played every single snap on offense. It’s simply a huge advantage for the Eagles to have the consistently high level of play under center that Kelce has been giving them for almost a decade.

And from a fan perspective, it’s been incredible to watch such a gifted player who can be counted on to not only stay healthy, but who has essentially been exactly the kind of player that Philadelphia craves.

From his total dedication to his craft to his “tell it like it is” persona, one can’t help but respect everything that Kelce stands for and has accomplished in an Eagles uniform.

It’s past time to start talking about him as one of the Eagles’ all-time greats. Frankly, he might be there already. When you consider his individual accomplishments, the key role he played on a championship team, and the way he oozes Philly, Kelce is knocking down the door to join the club.

And this leads to the biggest question of all: Is Jason Kelce a Pro Football Hall of Famer?

At this exact moment, probably not. He’ll need to put the finishing touches on his career. Honestly, I think he’ll get there if he is able deliver two more years of performance that are reasonably close to the bar he has set.

But there is some hope already, according to Reuben Frank at NBC Sports Philadelphia:

It’s truly a borderline call right now, and it might be up to Kelce himself if it’s something he wants to pursue further.

Kelce is 32 years old, and he has a lifetime of football miles on his body. Nobody could blame him if he decided to hang up his cleats tomorrow, next week or anytime before the rigors of the NFL schedule require him to sacrifice his body again. He has earned that right, and nobody would think any less of him.

Next. Eagles: Malcolm Jenkins is still vital in 2020. dark

Jason Kelce has nothing left to prove to anyone, anywhere. He’s put it all on the line for his team and his city for his entire career. And while I’m sure that he would love to be called a Hall of Famer someday, something tells me that ultimately he doesn’t care what other people think.